Lucas Films threatens full force of court action to defend IP rights

News Article

A company which offers Jedi training courses has been accused of crossing over to the dark side, after allegedly infringing the intellectual property (IP) rights of Lucasfilm, one of the main companies behind the Star Wars film franchise.

Manhattan-based New York Jedi Club, which is run by a Californian businessman, stands accused of breaching various trademark infringements by offering Jedi courses which include training in Lightsabre combat.

The film-makers, which own the trademarks for both ‘Jedi’ and ‘Lightsabres’ are taking the breaches seriously and have now taken the matter to the US Federal Court.

New York Jedi Club, which issues certificates to students who attend their classes, is also accused of using a logo that is similar in design to Lucasfilm’s Jedi Order logo.

The official complaint which has been lodged with the court states that the ‘Defendants regularly use the Lucasfilm Trademarks without authorization in connection with their businesses. Among other infringing activities, Defendants use a logo that is nearly identical, and confusingly similar, to Lucasfilm’s trademark Jedi Order logo.’

BJ Chong, a partner with Palmers and an intellectual property expert, said: “The Star Wars franchise is a multi-billion pound operation. As an indication of just how much its IP rights are worth, Random House sales from the first book release of Star Wars netted $200million and last year alone revenue from games and toys stood at $1.5billion.

“The unauthorised use of trademarks ultimately dilutes the brand and its commercial worth which is why Lucasfilm is anxious to send a clear message that it will not tolerate infringements of this kind.”

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