Lucas Sues Maryland Firm Over Lightsaber Knockoff

By Jeff St. Onge
Bloomberg News
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lucasfilm Ltd., the film-production company of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, said it sued a Maryland man and his novelty company for making lightsaber replicas without permission.

In a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco, Lucasfilm said William Osburn and his company, High-Tech Magic, are infringing "long-held" trademarks by making copies of the lightsabers, swords whose blade is a light beam, featured in the six-part film series.

"We owe it to our fans -- as well as to companies like Hasbro and Master Replicas, which are producing excellent authorized toy and replica lightsabers -- to stop this type of unlawful behavior," said Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing, a unit of closely held Lucasfilm.

Lucasfilm, based in Nicasio, Calif., asked the court to order all of High-Tech Magic's lightsaber replicas destroyed and to award cash compensation for lost profit.

Calls to Abingdon-based High-Tech Magic seeking comment were not immediately returned.

High-Tech Magic says on its Web site: "We do Star Wars(TM) Light Sabres," and that it can produce "a Star Wars(TM) Lightsaber that looks as good as those in the movies."

In October, Lucasfilm won $20 million in damages in a case against a British company that sold helmets and costumes based on characters from the "Star Wars" movies.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company