Star Wars owner Disney displeased by "Star Wash" car wash

Originally published at: Star Wars owner Disney displeased by "Star Wash" car wash - Boing Boing


Disney may not have much choice there, the basis of trademark law in most places is you need to defend it or lose it. I’m assuming this holds in Chile as well.


A good Star Wars name.


Really gutsy to attempt to register a name/concept that is openly cribbing from Disney. End result seems quite expected.


That’s really impressive. The Chewbacca costume is hot and ungainly enough to be uncomfortable in the best of circumstances, but wearing it while doing work in a warm place like Santiago has got to be brutal.


So what is the line for fair use and not?
Because this seems to be in question here, IMO. Though I don’t know the rules in Chile…
There’s a site I used to peruse fairly frequently called Woot that sells ALL kinds of shirts with obvious use of different trademarked characters and they have for a really long time.
Like this:


In the US, fair use in trademark law is basically limited to comparative ads (in other words, McDonald’s can use Burger King’s name in their commercials), news reports, product reviews, and parodies. That’s an oversimplification, but that’s the basic idea. Copying the logo and characters from an existing IP to use to promote your car wash business is not anywhere close to the fair use line. It’s way, way, way over it. It’s not even in the same county as that line.

As far as why those t-shirts exist…mostly because it’s free advertising and unless the IP holders are idiots, they’ll just let it go. Although Disney is very aggressive with Mickey Mouse’s likeness.


Registering a trademark that is lifting as much it can from another IP doesn’t seem to be fair use to me. Chile might have its own laws about it but i doubt this would end well if Disney is set on defending their IP.



Years & years ago (1980ish), I remember a laundromat in TX had this exact same name & logo.

Also now I’m thinking of this, which at the time reminded me of Sesame Street’s logo:


Short version is “Could a reasonable person mistake this product or service for a product or service offered by the trademark holder?”

So if it’s obvious parody a-la Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs then it gets a pass, but if there’s a reasonable chance customers will think the car wash is associated with Disney/Lucasfilm then it’s a trademark violation.

The tricky part is that it’s not always so clear cut what any given court will think is “obvious parody” or not.


Finally, an appropriate location to clean my SpaceBalls replica Space RV.



Walt Disney production company Lucasfilm is suing themed Chilean car wash Star Wash, accusing it of plagiarising the galactic film saga Star Wars.

I would not use the term “plagiarising.” But perhaps Chilean IP law is weird.

Star Wnrs…

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… by LEPIN.

Seems legit.


So, it’s in a galaxy far, far away? /silly

Disney is overly aggressive with all the IP it owns or purchases; There was a point were people would take a obvious Mickey Mouse™ image and go “I want this on a T-shirt” on Xitter in order to snag people running counterfeit t-shirt shops, and then basically sic DIsney’s warbarristers on them.

I seem to recall that there was an agreement between Lucasfilm and Mel Brooks wherein they would not get sued and could use the lightsaber™ SFX in the movie, provided that there was zero merchendising of the movie. (which resulted in the entire lampshade scene of Yogurt and the store in the movie…)

Cheap rip-off of Lego™? UNPOSSIBLE!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: (sets like those have been around for almost as long as Lego™ itself. )

And thank you to whoever decided to make the ( TM ) into ™; I’ll need to update my War™Hammer™40K™ macro now, but it’ll be worth the effort. :smiley:


I think that agreement was more of an act of goodwill between Brooks and Lucas (or between their lawyers) but wasn’t strictly required. Like how Weird Al likes to get permission from artists whose songs he’s spoofing even though there’s no legal requirement that he does so. People usually try not to burn bridges in the entertainment industry if they can help it.


I have so much to say about this.

  1. That’s one way to write off your Star Wars cosplay.

  2. I feel like my car would be less detailed than when I brought it in if a Wookie did it.

  3. Do they have Boba Fett in Daisy Dukes with soap all over his armor washing the cars? Asking for a friend…

Like the best Star Wars spinoffs of late, heroes are hard to find.

Do what now?



They don’t seem to go after the punisher variants that much though.


He should file the business as Jara, The Wash Hut.