A lawsuit is being filed against Lucasfilm and Denny’s after the Sabacc card game was featured in a promotion for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Ren Ventures holds the trademark for the Sabacc card game that’s featured in a mobile game owned by the company. The trademark for Sabacc was applied for by Ren Ventures in 2015 where it was previously in the public domain, though Lucasfilm and Disney have raised
Proper ownership over the Sabacc name has been disputed by both Ren Ventures and Lucasfilm in the past, but this recent lawsuit is an effort on Ren Ventures’ end to force Lucasfilm and Disney into removing all of the Sabacc references from marketing materials. One such reference that was mentioned in the lawsuit is how Denny’s comes into play in the lawsuit, a company name that might be strange to see as part of the legal situation if you didn’t catch the previous promotion. Towards the beginning of the month, an advertisement for the new Star Wars movie was released that featured a card game which Ren Ventures says is modeled after Sabacc. Denny’s is offering special trading cards that are based on the game for a limited time alongside a unique menu curated to go along with the Star Wars film and is explicitly mentioned in the lawsuit filed by Ren Ventures that can be seen below, via Variety:
In a past interview with Entertainment Weekly, Donald Glover who plays Lando Calrissian in the film confirmed that Sabacc is a game that’s played in the movie. Ren Ventures’ lawsuit against Lucasfilm and Denny’s says that the use of the card game’s name in the film and in marketing material is something that will cause confusion.
“Defendants’ unauthorized use of the term ‘Sabacc’ to refer to a playing-card game in a nationwide advertising campaign for an upcoming film is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source and/or origin of Plaintiffs’ pre-existing playing-card game,” the lawsuit says.
This point about confusion is one that Disney has actually made in the past as well in a previous lawsuit filed against Ren Ventures.
“Defendants have named their mobile game app ‘Sabacc’ in order to create confusion among consumers regarding the connection, authorization, and affiliation between the Sabacc mobile app and Plaintiffs and their Star Wars franchise,” Disney’s previous suit read.