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Prop maker 'uses the force'.

Summary: A British prop maker has won his latest legal battle against George Lucas' Star Wars empire attempt to strike back.

A British prop maker has won his latest legal battle against George Lucas' Star Wars empire attempt to strike back.

In a multimillion-pound legal dispute, the Stormtroopers creator came out the winner, allowing Andrew Ainsworth to continue reproducing their helmets.

Film giant Lucasfilm lost its fight at the Supreme Court to get the helmets classified as "sculptures" under UK law.

The 62-year-old, who helped make the helmets and suits for the first film in 1977, is now able to continue manufacturing from his studio in Twickenham without any form of licence from George Lucas and he can also carry on using the original tools and moulds.

Following the ruling, Mr Ainsworth said: "If there is a force, then it has been with me these past five years."

The ruling is likely to open the way for other claims relating to copyright infringements to be brought from outside the UK.

Fans from around the world are often seen at Star Wars conventions dressed in the troopers' distinctive white body armour and helmets, inherited from their time as clone troopers.

The armour set completely encases the body and typically has no individually distinguishing marking.

On January 1 2007, the largest ever gathering of Imperial Stormtroopers marched in step at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, with George Lucas serving as Grand Marshal.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Jul 28, 2011
Words:266
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