Towle's attorney, meanwhile, argues that DC Comics is attempting to rewrite copyright law by applying the protections to automobiles, which "do not qualify as sculptural works and are thus not eligible for copyright protection." If a judge decides the design elements found on the Batmobile are useful, the case will likely go Towle's way, as functional elements cannot be protected under US copyright law. But DC Comics contends the Batmobile is intellectual property and that Towle has profited from the company's efforts.
The custom builder says that a victory for DC Comics could "completely upend existing copyright law," and open the door for manufacturers to copyright any number of useful elements found on their products. What's more, anyone building a tribute to famous cars from the television or movie industries could find themselves in legal hot water.