South America

Intergalactic car wash issues in Chile

May the force be with you

A car wash in Chile is being sued by George Lucas for copyright infringement. The themed car wash on the outskirts of Chilean capital Santiago did not only adapt the name Star Wash, but also dressed up its staff as intergalactic characters. 

This fact apparently raised some eyebrows in San Francisco, where Lucas Films (part of Walt Disney) is situated. In a video on YouTube, Star Wash-owner Matias Jara thinks the problem lies mainly in the use of the name.

But if you have seen the famous science-fiction movies, you will probably soon detect a striking similarity between the fonts and designs used in the Chilean car wash and the multibillion-dollar galactic film and television saga.

It’s not that Star Wash is being cheeky about the similarities. They have shared videos on social media showing attendants dressed as “Star Wars” characters such as Chewbacca or a Stormtrooper wiping down hoods, bounty hunter Boba Fett and hero Cassian Andor wielding hose pipes instead of blasters and Darth Vader appearing to use The Force to summon cleaning cloths.

Brand registration

According to the law firm representing the carwash, the attention from Lucasfilm came while owner Matias Jara was in the process of registering his brand with Chilean patent authority INAPI. He then received a lawsuit from the franchise’s creator, Lucasfilm.

Jara’s lawyers said the U.S. movie production firm wanted to block the registration of the name. It argued that the brand could be confused as being affiliated with them.

“We don’t make movies or sell their products or anything like that,” Jara told a Reuters journalist. He also noted that his business was, however, a “stellar” car wash.

Author: Rene Passet

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