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Disney sues fan-created Lightsaber Academy for trademark infringement

Disney doesn't take kindly to people making money from the 'Star Wars' brand.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 18, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 6:58 pm CDT

There’s a thriving industry for replica lightsabers and lightsaber dueling classes, but Disney is finally starting to crack down on fan-run Star Wars businesses.

Michael Brown’s Lightsaber Academy operates like a martial arts class for Jedi skills, and after a series of cease and desist notices, Disney is taking the academy to court for trademark infringement.

Disney’s legal complaint argues that the academy’s logo is too similar to the official Jedi Order logo, and its lightsaber classes are profiting from Lucasfilm trademarks—which is fair enough, to be honest.

Brown is also affiliated with New York Jedi, a LARPing and cosplay club that gives regular classes in Star Wars-themed stage combat. The key difference between things like Lightsaber Academy and amateur fan films and cosplay events is that the academy is trying to make money—hence the lawsuit. 

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*First Published: Oct 18, 2016, 9:16 am CDT