Lucasfilm, the maker of the Star Wars movies, is unleashing its legal Death Star on the California owner of schools that teach lightsaber skills in New York, San Francisco, and at events across the country.
In a federal court lawsuit (PDF), Lucasfilm claims that participants might be confused that the program is affiliated with Lucasfilm, when it’s not, and that the Lightsaber Academy’s owner has not obtained any rights to use Lucasfilm trademarks.
Defendants regularly use the Lucasfilm Trademarks without authorization in connection with their businesses. Among other infringing activities, Defendants use a logo (“Defendants’ Infringing Logo”) that is nearly identical, and confusingly similar, to Lucasfilm’s trademark Jedi Order logo. …Defendants’ Infringing Logo, like Lucasfilm’s trademark Jedi Order logo, is round in shape, with six wing-like shapes curving upward (three per side), and an eight-pointed star featuring elongated top and bottom points stretched into a vertical line.
The suit said the classes, or “infringing activities,” are promoted at lightsaberacademy.com, newyorkjedi.com, lightsaberguild.club, and lightsaberguild.com.
The lawsuit, which claims the academy’s owner is Michael Brown of Oakland, said Brown repeatedly sought a license from Lucasfilm, but Lucasfilm “has consistently denied Defendants’ requests.” The suit said Brown filed trademark applications, too.
Brown did not respond for comment. The suit asks a San Francisco federal judge to block the academy from exploiting the trademarks and seeks damages and legal fees.
The newyorkjedi.com site advertises classes for $10. “We have experienced dancers, martial artists, and cosplayers that know a thing or two about saber choreography, and we offer classes to make you look as good as we do!” the site says.
The suit is not surprising. Lucasfilm is one of the world’s top IP enforcers and has lodged hundreds of infringement lawsuits concerning anything connected to the Star Wars franchise.
by David Kravets