Marriotts prepares for trade mark wars

The force is with a team of lawyers from London firm Marriott Harrison.

The firm is preparing for a surge of copyright and trade mark infringements following the launch of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.

A Marriott Harrison team of two partners and two assistant solicitors did all the legal work on the UK production work for the film, which stars Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and opens in the summer.

Marriott Harrison will also pursue any breaches of copyright or trade mark in the UK when pirate Darth Vadar models and R2D2 T-shirts hit market stalls across the country.

US firm Fenwick & West drew up several thousand trade marks for the film two years ago.

Marriott Harrison's partner in charge of media at William Hinshelwood says: “Lucasfilms are very, very security conscious and will do anything within their power to stop people selling things that they should not be selling or copying things that they should not be copying.”

Hinshelwood, who dealt with producer Rick McCallum during contract negotiations for the film, adds: “I am not anticipating infringements – that gives out the wrong message. But any will be dealt with accordingly and appropriately.”

Marriott Harrison has represented Lucasfilms for about eight years.

Richards Butler worked on the original Star Wars film in 1977.