Lucas Strikes Back Over "Skywalker" Name

Chicago billboard company was supposed to stop using Star Wars-related name at end of 2008

By BJ Lutz
|  Friday, Feb 5, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 PM CDT
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May the force of lawsuits be with you.

The man behind the Star Wars franchise wants to prevent a Chicago billboard company from using the term "Skywalker" in its name.

George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. says Skywalker Outdoor, which sells billboard advertising in various neighborhoods around Chicago, is violating federal trademark law by using "Skywalker" on its billboards and Web site.

Specifically, the suit says Skywalker Outdoor has not made good on an agreement it reached with Lucasfilm on Dec. 21, 2007 to stop using the Skywalker term.  The parties agreed, the suit says, to a one-year phase out process.  Skywalker Outdoor was to completely stop using the name as of Dec. 31, 2008.

That didn't happen.  According to the suit, the current president of Skywalker Outdoor said he didn't know about the agreement and said it was signed by someone who didn't have the authority to do so.

Allowing another firm to use "Skywalker" is "likely to cause confusion or mistake or deception of purchasers as to the source of origin of Skywalker Outdoor's goods and/or services," the suit says.

Lucasfilm is asking a federal judge to force the company to change its name and provide monetary compensation.

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