8:44am PT by Eriq Gardner
Disney's Lucasfilm Sues Academy That Teaches People How to Use Lightsabers
Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of Disney, is using the force of its trademarks to cut down an enterprise that purports to teach interested Star Wars fans the ways of the Jedi. On Friday, a lawsuit was filed against Michael Brown, described in the lawsuit as operating businesses including New York Jedi, the Lightsaber Academy and Thrills and Skills.
The defendant's services, including classes and teaching certifications, are pitched at LightsaberAcademy.com, which also describes "core principles" leading to practice in "Academic Form, Stage, and/or Dueling."
The owner of the Star Wars franchise is now in California federal court talking about cybersquatting, trademark infringement and unfair competition.
"Defendants regularly use the Lucasfilm Trademarks without authorization in connection with their businesses," states the complaint. "Among other infringing activities, Defendants use a logo that is nearly identical, and confusingly similar, to Lucasfilm’s trademark Jedi Order logo … 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."
Lucasfilm says it has served multiple cease notices, and that Brown has responded by filing a trademark application for "Lightsaber Academy, Inc."
The plaintiff now demands a permanent injunction, actual damages and profits, or alternatively, up to $2 million in statutory damages for each trademark infringed. Lucasfilm is represented by Laura Lin and Kelly Klaus at Munger, Tolles & Olson.
Brown couldn't be reached for comment.