'Jedi Mind' tricks don't work on George Lucas

LucasFilm slaps 'Jedi Mind' thought-control software maker with a $5 million suit for alleged trademark infringement.

The force had better be strong with Jedi Mind, Inc. if it hopes to metaphysically magic its way out of this one.

Apparently the company--that's right, they're actually called Jedi Mind--none-too-brightly opted to use the term 'Jedi' to describe products that purportedly allow players to control games using only their minds.

The products include a US$100 "Master Mind" application that claims to let you control games like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty "with the power of your mind," a "Jedi Mouse" that allows you to navigate your operating system using...yep, "the power of your mind," and something called "Think Tac Toe" that, well, you can probably figure it out for yourself.

All three products require Emotiv's $299.99 EPOC Headset, a device that uses sensors to isolate electric signals produced by the brain, and, Emotiv claims, "detect player thoughts, feelings and expressions."

As you'd expect, Star Wars high mucky-muck George Lucas doesn't approve, to the tune of a $5 million trademark lawsuit filed by LucasFilm. While the company doesn't have the trademark on the phrase 'Jedi Mind', it does claim to own the term 'JEDI', as well as jurisdiction over "all characteristics associated with the Jedi knights not memorialized in a registered trademark...[including] Jedi robes, the lightsaber weapon, the power to levitate objects, a telepathic oneness with other Jedi and the universe, and the ability to shoot energy beams called 'Force Lightning' from the fingertips."

"In short, LucasFilm has spent a generation creating, nurturing, protecting, and marketing an intricate and compelling fictional universe," argues LucasFilm, adding that "Any combination of letters, words, sounds, images, characters, concepts and/or themes calling to mind the Star Wars universe is a trademark of LucasFilm."

Hollywood Reporter broke the story, and has a copy of LucasFilm's complaint in full. According to the complaint, LucasFilm issued a cease and desist letter back in May 2009, Jedi Mind offered at that point to commence a corporate name change, LucasFilm paused for three months to give Jedi Mind time to do so, but the company failed to change its name and continued selling Jedi-named products.

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Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
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