LucasFilm sues firm over 'Jedi Mind' trademark

A company called Jedi Mind is being sued by George Lucas' film company over its references to the "Jedi Mind trick" to control a computer.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
2 min read
George Lucas
George Lucas LucasFilm

George Lucas' film company has filed a $5 million trademark-infringement lawsuit against Jedi Mind, a company that markets itself as allowing people to control computers with their brain waves.

The hostilities between LucasFilm and Jedi Mind began more than a year ago. According to Reuters, LucasFilm sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jedi Mind in May 2009, asking the company to change its name and to stop referencing the "Jedi Mind trick" when describing its products such as Master Mind and Jedi Mouse. The "Jedi Mind trick" first appeared in the "Star Wars" films.

At first, Jedi Mind apparently agreed to give up its name and all references to the Jedi Mind trick, Reuters reported. But the company apparently did not follow through. After another attempt to settle the situation, LucasFilm has decided that a lawsuit is in order. The suit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Northern California.

Jedi Mind creates applications designed to allow people to control their PCs with the help of Emotiv's headset. The headset claims to use neuro-technology to "detect player thoughts, feelings, and expressions." It retails for $299.

After buying the headset, people can then buy Jedi Mind's applications--which are advertised as allowing people to control games or perform actions on their PCs without a mouse or keyboard. The company's Master Mind application, for example, is advertised as letting PC gamers "move forward, back, punch, kick, shoot, and any other movement available in the game, simply by thinking the command associated with the desired action."

Aside from the $5 million in damages, LucasFilm wants Jedi Mind to remove all mention of the Jedi Mind trick to avoid the possibility of consumers being affected by "false endorsement, which is likely to cause confusion."

Jedi Mind declined to comment on the lawsuit.

LucasFilm recently backed away from a cease-and-desist letter sent to portable laser seller Wicked Laser, after the latter clarified that it had no affiliation with the "Star Wars" franchise.

Update at 10:20 a.m. PDT: Jedi Mind's response to the lawsuit has been added.