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  • Writer's pictureSheila Gibson, Esq

The IP force is STRONG with this one.

IP rights so strong, Android ended up paying royalties to Apple (sort of)

Today is Star Wars Day and here's our favorite character! Who's yours? ⁣ Since Star Wars debuted in 1977, Lucasfilm has arguably amassed one of the most profitable IP portfolios of all time. A search of US databases today revealed that Lucasfilm has roughly 4,000 US copyright registrations, 200 issued US patents and 400 registered US trademarks.⁣ ©️: While not surprising that the Star Wars films are registered copyrights, Lucasfilm has also registered copyrights for movie soundtracks, artwork, movie stunts, video games, computer programming code, manuals, newsletters, CDs, and even cookbooks (swipe)! ⁣ 💡: Lucasfilm's first issued patent was a design patent covering the design of a Boba Fett toy action figure issued on April 27, 1982 (swipe) and their most recent issued on April 23, 2019 for "Three-dimensional motion capture." That's nearly 37 years after their first issued patent! And still counting....⁣ ®️: The mark STAR WARS was registered in 1977. Since then they have registered trademarks for almost every Star Wars character, vehicle, and popular slogan, including MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU for action figures and fan club services! Their most recent ™️ application was filed on April 17, 2019 for FIRST ORDER CARGO for retail store services. ⁣ Non-traditional ®️: Lucasfilm also has registered trademarks for distinctive 3-d SHAPES of characters (swipe) and distinctive SOUNDS. These include the sound of a lightsaber being activated, described as “a crescendo beginning with a snapping sound followed by a hiss sound” and Darth Vader’s labored breathing, described as “the sound of rhythmic mechanical human breathing created by breathing through a scuba tank regulator."⁣ One interesting IP twist involving Lucasfilm's IP portfolio came with Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012. Prior to the purchase, Lucasfilm had asserted its trademark rights over the Motorola DROID, after which Motorola continued to use the mark under license from Lucasfilm. After Disney's purchase, Steven P. Jobs Trust being the largest Disney shareholder was profiting with every purchase of an Android Smartphone 🤳sold under this mark.

Lucasfilm's IP assets undoubtedly drove up the purchase price ($4.05 BILLION dollars) because these assets allow Disney to continue to monopolize the Star Wars market through IP rights. May the IP force continue to remain strong with Lucasfilm!

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