‘Skywalker’ Passport Rejected, Trademark Infringement Claimed

David Cornell - Author

Jul. 31 2014, Updated 8:59 a.m. ET

A Skywalker passport was rejected in the UK over potential trademark infringement. If you’re wondering how that happened, Laura Elizabeth Matthews had adopted the name Skywalker as her middle name and changed her signature to reflect it.

Apparently some people just love Star Wars so much that they’re willing to change their name to reflect it. One has to wonder how soon the average U.S. moviegoer might do the same as anticipation builds over J.J. Abrams’ Episode 7. We doubt the problem would have happened if Laura had adopted the name Solo, which would be identical to that of the character’s sister after marrying Han.

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Laura’s application for a UK passport was rejected over the name, even though her driver’s license and bank cards reflect the change with no problem. There have been much stranger names, but not many of them actually end in the rejection of the ability to travel to other countries due to trademark or copyright infringement.

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Skywalker is also the name of a major sound business in film as well as some various U.S. companies specializing in hot air balloons and roofing. The name may have originated with Star Wars, but it’s been adopted for many other things.

The Skywalker passport was also partially called into question because she had changed her signature to “L. Skywalker,” which apparently raised a few eyebrows. The Home Office stated their reason for rejecting the woman’s document, saying that they “will not [recognize] a change to a name which is subject to copyright or trademark. We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute.”

They suggested instead that Laura reapply with her original signature sans the name Skywalker, even though her name can stay the way it is otherwise.

Laura claimed that she and her friends had come up with the idea six years ago and she simply ran with it, and does not regret it despite the passport rejection.

How did Laura manage to use the new signature on legal documents otherwise? If the signature “L. Skywalker” isn’t going to allow her to travel outside the country, obviously the Skywalker passport isn’t going to let this Jedi fan travel to any galaxies far, far away.

[image via Star Wars Wiki]


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