George Lucas Says Your Actual Laser Looks Too Much Like Lightsaber

So apparently a lightsaber isn’t a laser, it’s a “blade of pure plasma energy emitted from the hilt and suspended in a force containment field,” but whatever, George Lucas says Wicked Lasers, based in Hong Kong, is violating LucasFilm’s trademark by selling lasers that look like lightsabers.

“It is apparent from the design of the Pro Arctic Laser that it was intended to resemble the hilts of our lightsaber swords, which are protected by copyright … ,” said a legal letter addressed to the company, according to CNN.

The owner of the company says that LucasFilm shouldn’t be comparing his lasers to their toys.

“Lucasfilm shouldn’t be saying something like that,” he said. “They’re a big company that needs to protect their trademarks. Maybe they’re having to look like they’re protecting their trademark in case they need to [protect it again] later.”

LucasFilm isn’t accusing Wicked Lasers of making the comparison, but cites a Gizmodo article that calls the device “a real life lightsaber.”

“These references make it clear that the public is being led to believe that the Pro Arctic Laser is an official lightsaber device and/or copied from our design,” the Lucasfilm letter said.

The owner says that after orders increased due to the publicity, the company started shipping the device, (which really isn’t a toy) with additional safety features and a pair of goggles.

‘Star Wars’ creator says laser too much like lightsaber [CNN] (Thanks, Todd!)
[Wicked Lasers]

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  1. DanRydell says:

    I’m more annoyed that this thing has repeatedly been referred to as a “real” lightsaber but it doesn’t even attempt to be anything like a real lightsaber. I know a “real” lightsaber couldn’t exist, but the first criterion I would use when deciding if something is a real lightsaber is whether it looks like a glowing sword. This does not!

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Did you bother to read the company’s specs on this thing? It’s not a toy and it is very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. I used to work for a laser assembly company and have had the smaller types that were nothing more than a device to measure with and play with but that’s different but nothing more than playing with a flashlight. It’s extremely easy to “accidentally” point it where you never intended too because it’s just a point of light on a wall; no beam, no sound. This Artic Series type device will burn a hole in your head because it works off a full 1 watt of power, not a milliwatt, but a watt. Even some of the the smaller ones that I worked with in ’99 would blind you. Look it up in their web site and this thing is not safe and to be honest, I’d like to see these things forbidden to be on the market. You could be sitting in your living room and some numnut would think it’s funny to point this at you through your window and you wouldn’t even know until you felt the burn on your head. And on top of the there is the very high potential for radiation poisoning and after affects. Maybe Lucas isn’t thinking the way that I am but I hope that he can stop this thing from selling because of the fact that is looks like the “toy” used in his films and I can see a couple of kids thinking the same thing while playing with a couple of these. One tiny accidentally flash from one of these and goodbye eye or eyes.

      • Megalomania says:

        Lasers like these are kind of terrifying when you think about it – a blue laser even at substantially less than a watt can go well over a mile, and damage to your vision is possibly one of the worst things you can have happen to aside from physical mutilation. There already are problems with jagoffs shining lasers at airplanes, causing problems for pilots. Thankfully, I suppose, random assholes like that don’t feel like dropping $1000 on a 500mw laser that can ignite fireworks.

        • mattarse says:

          So you would make these illegal but keep guns and knives? It’s not the tool – it’s the user.

      • DanRydell says:

        Cool story bro, but I think you must have meant to reply to someone else? If you intended to reply to me, I have no idea why you’re asking if I bothered to read the company’s specs. My complaint is that blogs are calling this thing a “real lightsaber” when it is not a sword of any type, it is a LASER. You obviously understand it is a laser, and you presumably know that lightsabers are NOT lasers, so I have no idea what your issue is with my comment.

      • Harrkev says:

        Huh? You said:

        “And on top of the there is the very high potential for radiation poisoning and after affects.”

        Not a chance. The “radiation” here is called “light.” No poisoning possible.

        Burns, possible.
        Blinding, probably.
        Radiation poisoning, impossible.

  2. ThunderRoad says:

    Weesa all gonna git sued?

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I hope the goggles do something…

    • Bakergirl says:

      I guess it depands on where you place them.

    • Cameraman says:

      No, nothing.

    • Rachacha says:

      Reminds me of a time when I was contacted by a client who was developing a laser for the military. While the product was top secret, they did advise me that it was a weapons grade laser intended to be mounted to a helicopter and that it was capable of cutting human flesh. They wanted me to test to verify that it would not burn someone’s retna if they were to stare directly into the beam. When I asked them to stop and think about what they just told me, and highlighted for them that a weapon grade laser capable of cutting somone (although I guess more accurately burning someone and causing severe tissue damage) probably would not be safe to look at, they realized the idiocy of their request.
      If only they had safety goggles all would have been right with the world.

    • Necoras says:

      In all seriousness, yes, they do. They’re orange safety goggles which will block out the blue wavelength, thus preventing very real, very permanent blindness which would result from shining said laser, even briefly or reflected off of a mirrored surface, into your eyes.

    • redskull says:

      It probably wouldn’t look like anything unless you turned it on in a smoke-filled room.

      I’d be a little concerned by the fact that it comes with a pair of safety goggles. Can’t wait for some nimrod to start pointing these at cars on the interstate.

      • Dopaz says:

        It is definitely a visible beam. 1Watt is hundreds (to thousands) of times brighter than your run-of-the-mill laser pointer for your cat or presentations. This is a portable laser, not a laser pointer.

        Check out their website for a video of it in action. (I’ve been waiting 3 weeks for it to be delivered, I spend a lot of time on their site waiting for updates)

  4. Cicadymn says:

    Somebody said this looks like something I own! Therefore you owe me money and/or must stop production immediately!

    • bucklefilledbird says:

      No, the problem is somebody said it looks like a “Lightsaber” and once they said “Lightsaber” and then you look at it, you DO think “Yeah, it looks like a Lightsaber”

      “Lightsaber” being the trademarked word… like “Ewok”, “Wookie”, “Jedi”, “Twi’lek” “Millenium Falcon” ect, ect, ect…

  5. redwall_hp says:

    Well I think Lucas’s lightsabers look too much like certain models of Graflex flash guns: http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=graflex+flash+lightsaber&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Nice! That’s awesome. Cool to look back at the ingenuity of set dressers back then, now they’d just CG it. Lame.

    • packcamera says:

      That is because lightsabers are Graflex flashgun handles.

      http://www.partsofsw.com/esbsksab.htm

      Sad, spotty-faced nerds living in their fantasy world have raised the price of Graflex flashguns to the point that they are often sold for more than the camera itself. I guess I’m bitter because what should be an inexpensive “usable antique” sheet film camera is artificially overvalued because of one insignificant part (the bulbs that these flashes use are no longer produced).

  6. dolemite says:

    Hey, that thing is a tube that looks technological. Obviously a lightsaber!

    Hey, you! Lasertag! Supersoaker! Nerf! You are producing things that have barrels, triggers, stocks/handles. Obviously a ripoff of our product. Signed: Ruger, Smith and Wesson.

  7. backbroken says:

    How about if somebody actually invented a working lightsaber? Would Lucas be able to stop them from actually selling it, even under a different name just because he imagined it in a movie?

    Does this mean that when flying cars are invented, the producers of BladeRunner will be able to sue to top their production?

    This could go on and on….

    • Ixnayer says:

      Fear of being sued is the only reason I haven’t sold my flux capacitor upgrade for Deloreans.

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      If someone had actually invented a real lightsaber (laws of thermodynamics be damned), after equipping their droid army with them, I think that “being sued” would be one of the last things that would worry them, what, with the domination of the earth that would be theirs for the taking and all.

    • bwcbwc says:

      The patent office has issued patents for imagined, but non-existent inventions. I believe about the only thing they won’t patent on principle is a perpetual-motion machine, but anti-gravity (for example) is fair game.

  8. mac-phisto says:

    sorry george, your trademarks expired a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Any REAL Star Wars fan would know this isn’t a real lightsabre because Jedi’s didn’t make it. You have to make your own!

    But wait.. maybe they have a factory of Jedi slaves. Hrm..

  10. Minj says:

    Add George Lucas to the list of grumpy old men whose time has passed and insist on make everyone else’s life miserable. Famously also on the list: Carrol Shelby.

  11. MustWarnOthers says:

    Trademark and Copyright BS.

    How is this world going to function when production companies and corporations have trademarked every single possible word combination in the English language?

    Android/Verizon already dealt with the mishap of using a slang term for Android, which is apparently copy written by the same Douche.

  12. Rumblepuff says:

    Come on now, we all know that looks just like a lightsaber. They are trying to get geeky fans (like me) to buy this even though its not lucas made. (maybe that’s the point)

    • Username says:

      I think it is incredibly irresponsible for the company to design something so dangerous to look like something that would attract collectors. I hope the inventors are on the plane that goes down because some 9 year old with a paypal account and $200 decided to get one and shoot it at their pilot. They should have kept it in the normal black tube that Wicked Lasers uses for everything else. This thing is just freaking dangerous and nobody buying it because it looks like a lightsaber will have any clue how to use it properly. This thing is the equivalent of the ice cream truck putting razor blades in the Popsicles. Kids are still going to buy them, but have no idea how badly they could hurt themselves. They just thought they were getting a Popsicle…

  13. rdclark says:

    I don’t see the infringement.

    You can’t copyright (or trademark) an idea. “A handle that shoots out a light beam when you press a button” isn’t protectable.

    You can trademark a name, but the name isn’t being used. You can copyright or patent a design, but this design doesn’t copy the LucasArt design.

    I guess George’s lawyers are having a slow summer.

    • kujospam says:

      Too true, but they aren’t complaining about that, they are complaining on how it looks. They could of made it into a car design, or wallet, or a big ****. Then everyone would be complaining that it looks like their …………

  14. Concat says:

    Yeah I googled “lightsaber hilt” and they didn’t copy the design at all. They made they’re own design. Obviously people are going to draw comparisons, but just because it’s futuristic looking doesn’t mean they intended it to look like a lightsabre. Are they gonna send letters to NASA next?

    http://www.modernjediknight.com/images/lightsabers_group01.jpg

  15. AI says:

    Lucasfilm has trademarks on specific lightsaber designs, not on adding random lumps of plastic to cylinders. The Arctic is not a direct copy of any lightsaber used in the films. http://27.media.tumblr.com/DrfDr4Xfufwtot068pJ2aYSFo1_500.jpg . WL can just argue that when you add controls and grips to a cylinder, that it inevitably ends up looking similar to a lightsaber.

  16. Beeker26 says:

    Well lawyers send out cease and desist letters all the time. It doesn’t mean they actually have a case. Not sure how far Georgie boy will get trying to sue a company in Hong Kong either.

    But hey, he’s gotta find something to do with his time when he’s not actively destroying the Star Wars franchise, right?

  17. Dopaz says:

    A: Hasn’t shipped yet. Ordered mine the day it was announced.
    B: It looks just like any portable laser in that host (hundreds)
    C: The only reason Lucas is worried about the word “lightsaber” being attached to this device is that it is frighteningly dangerous. 1W laser is EXTREMELY dangerous in the wrong hands (like mine) and will probably be what blinds me for life.

  18. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Well, I think George’s “lightsaber” looks too much like a piece of a tripod. So there.

  19. H3ion says:

    I am your father, Luke. Sorry about the hand.

  20. Tiandli says:

    When I was a kid, I used to pretend a flashlight was a lightsaber handle and my blade was invisible.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. George Lucas might sue me and the flashlight company.

  21. WickedCrispy says:

    It’s not like old cartoon shows and comics have had “energy swords” or “beam sabers” or anything that Georgie stole from to make his lightsaber in the first place…

  22. Mr Fife says:

    So, no one can make a laser with a cylindrical handle?

  23. cmdr.sass says:

    As in all cases of this type, it’s not who’s right, it’s who has more money to outlast the other.

  24. XTREME TOW says:

    “The Force” is an energy that flows through everything. Including Gizmodo, CNN, The Consumerist, etc. A TRUE Jedi Knight will learn how to control The Force, to keep his trademarked Empire in the public spotlight without paying for advertisement.
    The fluctuations you are felling in The Force are the screams of shareholders crying out in pain as their profits drop.
    Sue, or Sue Not. There is no Cease and Desist.

  25. Whuffo says:

    I’m not sure that this is a real product. I ordered one when they first offered them – their web site said they were in stock but that wasn’t the case. After a couple of weeks I asked what happened to my order and they told me it’d be shipped July 5th. Before that day came, I was informed via email that the product was being redesigned and would start shipping on July 15th.

    At least I was able to get my money back from them. Saying something is “in stock” then charging your credit card and repeatedly delaying the shipment is pretty much fraud. I still need to find a good laser with sufficient power – but the Wicked folks aren’t being honest about their ability to actually sell the thing that they’ve been collecting money on for several weeks now.

  26. Wei says:

    Dear George Lucas,

    I’m sorry your creation has spawned a ubiquitous word for “energy beam tube” but to be fair you didn’t invent it

  27. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    I fear this laser is a bigger threat than we can imagine. Looks at the facts: very high power, portable, limited firing time, unlimited range. All you’d need is a big spinning mirror and you could vaporize a human target from space.

    or cook up some serious popcorn.

  28. sp00nix says:

    Hehe one of these are on its way to my house :)

    • Whuffo says:

      Are you sure about that? It’s been almost a month since they started offering this thing for sale and so far nobody has actually received one.