Sabacc is a card game that was referenced in the “Star Wars” novels. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in February, Donald Glover revealed that his character, a young Lando Calrissian, would be playing the game in the film.
Ren Ventures has been fighting with Lucasfilm over ownership of the “Sabacc” trademark since May 2017. Though Lucasfilm has trademarked a great many Star Wars names, characters and phrases over the years, Sabacc remained in the public domain until 2015. In that year, Ren Ventures began selling a mobile game called Sabacc and applied for a trademark. The trademark was registered, without objection, the following year. Lucasfilm subsequently challenged the trademark. In December, it filed a federal suit which remains pending.
Ren Ventures seeks to force Lucasfilm to remove all mention of Sabacc from its marketing materials. The company takes particular exception to a promotional partnership with Denny’s, in which the restaurant chain offers collectible trading cards based on the Sabacc game. Ren Ventures goes so far as to sue Denny’s as well as Collider, the outlet that first published the Denny’s TV ad.
“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 alleges.
Lucasfilm and its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.