DENVER (CN) – Computerized models of Toyota vehicles used in television commercials cannot be copyrighted by the computer design company, the 10th Circuit ruled.
Meshwerks and Grace & Wild have been making the digital models for Toyota since 2004. The models included the outer frame of the car, and the colors and styles changed in a television commercial based on the computer design.
The designers sued Toyota for copyright infringement when it used the technology outside of that commercial.
Judge Gorsuch agreed with the trial court that the models are not original designs but actually copies of Toyota’s work.
“We think Meshworks’ models are not independent creations but (very good) copies of Toyota’s vehicles,” Gorsuch wrote. “All the same, we do not doubt for an instant that the digital medium … can be employed to create vivid new expressions fully protectable in copyright.”