Italian Lightsaber Combat arrives in Bay Area, could threaten Lusafilm trademark

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A group that's been teaching Lightsaber Combat in Italy for the past decade is now in the Bay Area teaching sold-out classes.

After all, the Bay Area is home to the Star Wars films' creators, which could be a good thing, or a bad one.

The founders of LudoSport are from Italy. Over the past decade, they've created their own combat sport, inspired by the mythical weapons of Star Wars.

They don't cut hands off in LudoSport. They use a scoring system based on where you hit your opponent with the flexible plastic blade. Like belts in karate, the blade color shows a player's rank. Beginners start with a blue blade.

But there is a disturbance in the force. Another company that bills itself as a Lightsaber Academy recently got a message, not from a galaxy far, far away, but from Lucasfilm's attorneys.

In a 16-page lawsuit, Lucasfilm claims Lightsaber Academy uses trademarked words like Jedi and a logo much like that of the Jedi order.

Indeed, even the word lightsaber is a trademark, one Lucasfilm says they don't have permission to use. The founders, based in Oakland, couldn't be reached for comment. Could LudoSport be next?

"There is actually no concern from LudoSport's side,"

They say they've gone to great pains to avoid Star Wars trademarks and say their hardware, logos, even the combat style are original.

"Different from the Lucas intellectual property," said Daniele Maggi, LudoSport manager.

And in the city where Lucasfilm is based, they're holding class every Saturday, at Studiomix, a gym that happens to be in the same building as a giant movie theater.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.