22 February 2018Trademarks

Game maker tries to end Lucasfilm ‘Star Wars’ TM battle

UK-based game maker Ren Ventures has attempted to dismiss a trademark infringement claim brought by Lucasfilm over a fictional card game in the “ Star Wars” universe.

US-based Lucasfilm, now owned by Disney,  is a TV and film production company founded by George Lucas, creator of the “Star Wars” franchise.

Lucasfilm filed a lawsuit against Ren Ventures in December last year at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, alleging trademark infringement over the game maker’s ‘Sabacc’ trademark (US trademark number 5,025,710).

In the “Star Wars” franchise, Sabacc is a fictional card game. Han Solo won a game of Sabacc order and, in doing so, obtained the famed Millennium Falcon aircraft.

Ren Ventures exclusively licensed the trademark to Sabacc Creative Industries, where it was used to market a game for mobile phones.

In May 2017, Lucasfilm instituted a trademark cancellation proceeding at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), claiming that Ren Ventures’ mark is likely to cause confusion with Lucasfilm’s “putative Sabacc mark”.

Ren Ventures sought partial-summary judgment of the TTAB proceeding, claiming that Lucasfilm lacked trademark rights to the term. Lucasfilm then filed its lawsuit.

On February 15, Ren Ventures filed a partial motion to dismiss the claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition.  Lucasfilm is also suing Ren Ventures for copyright infringement, and cancellation of the game maker’s trademark is being sought.

In its motion, Ren Ventures claimed that despite Lucasfilm’s use of the term ‘Sabacc’, Lucasfilm has never applied to register the word as a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark office, nor does it own a pending trademark application.

Ren Ventures argued that Lucasfilm’s claims of ownership are “implausible because plaintiffs cannot prove trademark priority”.

While the term was used in a 1980 novelisation of “The Empire Strikes Back” it was not used again until a trilogy of novels about Lando Calrissian—a character in the franchise—three years later in 1983.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories

Jägermeister’s glass design shot down by AG

German court agrees to hear UPC complaint

AG issues opinion in Scotch Whisky clash

Breaking IP rules in best interests for growth powerhouses, says Gowling

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

17 October 2016   US film and television production company Lucasfilm has taken up arms against a number of alleged trademark infringers.