Lucasfilm has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wicked Lasers, a company that manufactures the Spyder III Pro Arctic, the world’s most powerful portable laser capable of causing blindness, damaging skin and even setting things on fire.
According to Lucasfilms, the laser infringes on their trademark and Star Wars Jedi Knight weapon of choice, and while Wicked Lasers have never referred to the device as a “lightsaber,” it’s pretty obvious from the promotional images on their site.
In the letter Lucasfilms notes that blogs and other media have referred to the device as a “real-life lightsaber,” so despite what Wicked Lasers may say, the perception is still there:
“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 […] “These references (by media) 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.”
Wicked Lasers’ response:
“Most people feel it’s kind of ridiculous … We would never use any comparison like that to ‘Star Wars’ or a lightsaber or anything like that.
Lucasfilm shouldn’t be saying something like that. 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.”
Since media coverage, orders of the device doubled and Wicked Lasers have added safety features, such as a safety lock to prevent accidentally turning on the laser, and an extra lens which reduces its power by 80 percent until it is removed. Additionally each laser now ships with safety goggles.
According to CNN, the C&D letter was sent a couple of weeks ago, but the company has not stopped shipping or manufacturing the devices.