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The Game Company Strikes Back! Legal saga over Sabacc game continues

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May 5, 2018

It is a dark time for the game of Sabacc. Although Solo: A Star Wars Story is coming out in less than three weeks, and presales have doubled even those of Black Panther, a war is still being waged for the fate of the card game that won the Milennium Falcon to Han Solo, changing the course of Star Wars history and leaving Lando Calrissian down one ship.

Just to catch you up on the history of the Sabacc legal drama (the Sa-backstory, as it were), this past December Disney Lucasfilm sued a gaming company called Ren Ventures for trademark infringement over its launching of a Sabacc mobile app game just prior to the release of The Force Awakens. (Sidenote: The fact that this company is called Ren Ventures is a bold move of the first order. Kylo Ren as a mobile game app CEO is something I am willing to pay money to see.) 

And Ren has done his, I mean, its homework. Rules of the game were explained in a Star Wars book series on Lando Calrissian, and apparently the mobile game actually adheres to these rules... if allegedly not all the rules of copyright.

At the time, the game company argued that it's impossible to trademark fictional goods and services, and filed a plea to dismiss the suit, which was denied by the court, allowing the suit to go forward. Ren does have a trademark of its mobile game of Sabacc however, awarded in 2016, which Disney says is likely to cause customer confusion, and which they are challenging. 

So, what's the latest? With Disney's trademark suit still pending, now Ren is suing Disney, Lucasfilm, and even Denny's for infringement of their trademark of Sabacc. They claim, in a total Kylo Ren move (not taking sides here, but c'mon, you know Kylo Ren would do this), that Disney's use of Sabacc in marketing its own movie from the franchise that birthed Sabacc infringes on their trademark of the game. Ben Solo mic drop. 

Oh, and what did Denny's do? This "Hand of Sabacc" commercial: 

Not even pancakes are safe from the wrath of Ren.