Nate the great
I put in a qualifier "The law in the US may be crazy", I should have added, in Australia "not a single instance did this character infringe anyone's copyright." I am sorry.
I believe US law has gone well beyond copyright, into a much more general and very shaky legal fiction of "intellectual property".
Of course the general concept of intellectual property lies behind actual and defensible laws on pattens and copyright, but frankly the US went very silly in trying to hand over practically anything to corporations.
For instance, Australia invented sheepskin boots called "Ugh boots", the word was never registered as a trade mark, and long ago passed into common usage. A US company began manufacturing these boots, registered "Ugh boots" (which was unknown there) and then commenced suing Australian companies which used "Ugh boots" as a description of their products.
I hope people see how absurd this looks and how far away from copyright and pattens law this form of intellectual theft becomes intellectual property. US "copyright" law is absurd, it is hopelessly over extended, and has to be breached continually because it is so out-of-kilter with reality.
I apologise for such an unclear post, written quickly before leaving for work.