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George Lucas rattles lightsabre at Jedi laser firm

Manufacturer feels the force of cease-and-desist

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Lucasfilm has issued a cease-and-desist against Wicked Lasers - the manufacturer of the Spyder III Pro Arctic which has created quite a stir among wannabe Jedi worldwide.

The Star Wars firm is less than impressed with the "most dangerous laser ever created", and late last month informed Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers: "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."

The letter, CNN says, describes the Spyder III Pro Arctic as "a highly dangerous product with the potential to cause blindness, burns and other damage to people and/or property".

Wicked Lasers admits the product is "extremely dangerous", and no longer punts it as a novelty item for aspiring Luke Skywalkers. It now comes with a pair of safety goggles and buyers are obliged to agree to a "Class 4 Laser Hazard Acknowledgment Form".

The company's CEO, Steve Liu, said: "You've got a lot of people who think this is kind of a cool toy, so we've decided not to ship the laser as it was originally advertised."

What Wicked Lasers hasn't done, though, is bow to Lucasfilm's demand that it change the laser's design or stop selling it altogether, under the threat of "the initiation of legal proceedings without further notice to you".

Liu insisted the Spyder III Pro Arctic isn't in breach of Lucasfilm copyright, and that press coverage sparked the Jedi weapon buzz. He told CNN: "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."

Liu expressed the hope that the matter could be resolved without legal action, and described the Star Wars franchise as "some of my favorite movies". ®

Bootnote

Steve Liu got in touch yesterday to stress: "1. We've always included goggles with the Arctic laser. 2. We've never 'ranted' or advertised it in any way as a lightsaber or from Star Wars."

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