Lawsuit Filed Against AEW And AEW Star:
A top AEW star has been wearing copyright ring gear and that has resulted in a lawsuit being filed against AEW.
As reported by Wrestlenomics, Composite Effects LLC (who also go by CFX) filed a legal complaint against AEW and Austin Matelson who wrestles on Tv under the ring name Luchasaurus. The lawsuit which was filed in Eastern District Court of Louisiana, states that AEW and Luchasaurus have been using a copyright mask design and also selling it as merchandise without the permission of the designer.
The designer claims that even though it gave the go ahead for Luchasaurus to use the mask as a performer in the ring, neither he or AEW were authorised to sell any merchandise using that design.
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The plaintiff said: “Matelson was entitled to use the mask in events as a wrestler, but neither he nor anyone acting on his behalf was entitled to create merchandise that incorporated the mask design.”
Providing examples of the mask depicted in advertising, the mask on t-shirts and in action figures, the plaintiff fully supported his lawsuit. According to the complaint made, Luchasaurus worked with the design company in December 2016, so he could have a version modified, of the mask the designers called “Viper Silicone Mask”. Horns would then be added to the mask in March 2019.
According to email records, Composite Effects knew Luchasaurus signed with AEW in 2019 and would try to come to an agreement with the copyright and licensing. It was also reported that AEW and Composite Effects worked together in February 2021 to create a brand new mask which AEW would then receive the rights to. The new mask was apparently rarely used, if at all.
The contents of an email from Luchasaurus were also used in the lawsuit and one email from the former AEW World Tag Team Champion read: “Hey man thanks for the work on the new mask but after getting a look of it on my face Tony and I agreed my current mask is just too iconic at this point and we can’t change the face.”
The plaintiff also said that they contacted AEW and Luchasaurus many times in 2022 asking them to stop using the mask or to come to some sort of agreement. No agreement was made and the design was still used as AEW merchandise.
Composite Effects also incorporated a written declaration by fellow designer George Frangadakis, stating that Luchasaurus approached him in January 2022 to ask him about a new design similar to the one he was already using which held the copyright from Composite Effects.
According to Frangadakis’ statement, Matelson and an associate known as “Jett” wanted “a near replics of CFX’s custom-designed mask.”
“It was clear that there were legal issues that needed to be handled prior to my designing a new mask for Matelson.”
The designer would then offer to create a mask which didn’t resemble the CFX one at all and wouldn’t be contacted again by either Luchasaurus and “Jett”.
Composite Effects are now seeking compensation in the form of profits that AEW have made in relation to the infringement, as well as damages and attorney fees.
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Author: Alex Bakothanasis
Photo Credit: AEW