Lucasfilm sues to stop 'Skywalker' billboards

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Lucasfilm sues to stop 'Skywalker' billboards

Thu Feb 04, 2010 @ 03:20PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Episode_4_Luke_Skywalker_1 The galactic empire known as Lucasfilm has zeroed in on a threat in its airspace — an intruder with the audacity to hang big billboards in and around Chicago under the flagship "Skywalker Outdoor."

Lawyers for the George Lucas company are using a potent brand-zapping canon known as a trademark infringement lawsuit. In a complaint filed yesterday in Illinois District Court, Lucasfilm claims Skywalker Outdoor is improperly using its Skywalker mark in connection with a billboard advertising business, including displaying signage bearing the Skywalker mark promoting the company.

According to the complaint, Lucasfilm previously warned Skywalker Outdoor about misuse of the mark, and the company agreed in 2007 to stop using the name after a one-year grace period.

That date has come and gone, and Skywalker Outdoor continues to be a pest, according to the filing.

Now the empire is, um, striking back, claiming that "Unless Skywalker Outdoor is enjoined from engaging in the wrongful conduct described above, Lucasfilm will suffer irreparable injury and further harm."

Skywalker Outdoor declined to comment.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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