SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Batman won't have to worry about Batmobile knockoffs after a federal appeals court ruled the caped crusader's vehicle is entitled to copyright protection.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said yesterday the Batmobile's bat-like appearance and other distinct traits make it a character that can't be replicated without permission from the copyright holder, DC Comics.

The ruling came in a lawsuit DC Comics brought against Mark Towle.

Towle produced replicas of the Batmobile as it appeared in the 1966 television show featuring Adam West as Batman, and the 1989 movie with Michael Keaton in the lead role. The court said Towle sold the cars for about $90,000 each.

Calls to attorneys for Towle were not immediately returned.