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‘Indiana Jones 5' sparks trade mark lawsuit over hero’s backpack

Taken from | Author: Winston Cho | Date: 20 July 2023

A clothing company says the studio used its signature backpacks in the sequel without permission and then passed off the products as a competitors' product.

Lucasfilm has been roped into a legal battle between rival clothing companies over the backpack Indiana Jones wore in the latest instalment to the franchise.

Frost River in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in a California federal court accused Lucasfilm of using its products in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny without permission and then passing off its signature backpacks as a competitors’ product in a deceptive marketing campaign.

“This lawsuit concerns two corporate juggernauts, Filson and Lucasfilm, exploiting the hard work and intellectual property of Frost River, a small American company,” states the complaint.

In the movie, Indiana Jones wears a bag with a knapsack design featuring a drawstring-topped main compartment with a flap cover. Frost River says Lucasfilm never obtained its permission to use its product. Instead, the studio removed identifying marks on the bag in violation of federal trade mark law.

As part of its marketing for the movie, Lucasfilm authorised Filson to run a co-branded campaign to promote the movie and the clothing company’s products, according to the lawsuit. “Lucasfilm and Filson produced a 60 second commercial prominently featuring video clips from the Indiana Jones 5 film intertwined with video clips of actors using Filson’s own products,” writes Devin McRae, a lawyer for Frost River, in the complaint. “Shockingly, one of the intertwined video clips was one from Indiana Jones 5 featuring Frost River’s Geologist Pack.”

Frost River says the marketing is intended to trick consumers into believing that the bags seen in the movie and advertisements are sold by Filson.

The complaint claims a violation of the Lanham Act, a federal trade mark law.

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