Star Wars Creator Lucasfilm Loses IP Case Against London Affiliate of Simmons Hanly Conroy

The English High Court may be a long way from East Alton, Ill., but the Simmons firm continues to make its mark in the legal industry, most recently winning a high profile intellectual property lawsuit (case #HC06C03813) with its London affiliate, the SC Andrew LLP, against Lucasfilm of Star Wars film fame. The Simmons firm is known for contingency-based intellectual property and patent litigation as well as mesothelioma litigation.

In the English High Court case of Lucasfilm v Ainsworth, the SC Andrew represented the prop designer who produced the Stormtrooper helmets and armor for the 1977 Star Wars film. Lucasfilm was attempting to prevent Ainsworth from selling replicas of the helmets, but the High Court last week dismissed the majority of Lucasfilm’s claims.

“Our firm has a storied history of taking on corporate giants,” said Paul Lesko, intellectual property lawyer for the Simmons firm’s U.S. practice. “Because of this ruling, Mr. Ainsworth will be able to rightfully sell his product throughout most of the world. It’s not only a victory for him. It’s a victory for prop designers throughout the film industry.”

“We took on the infamous Death Star and lived to tell about it,” said Chris Messina, the Simmons firm’s president of International Litigation. “The goal of our business and intellectual property practices always has been to give entrepreneurs and small businesses a voice to protect their legal rights. To see that success play out on the international stage like this is truly gratifying.”

Three years ago, the Simmons firm decided to expand beyond its well established asbestos litigation practice into intellectual property litigation and business-to-business litigation. Moving away from traditional fee structures, the firm strategically chose to offer legal representation on a contingency basis, affording individuals and smaller businesses the ability to take legal action against companies with deeper pockets. The Simmons firm then began to form international relationships with other like minded firms, such as the SC Andrew, to effectively pursue intellectual property infringement and patent litigation wherever their clients happen to reside.

“As more U.S. businesses expand globally, working with affiliate firms in other countries expands our ability to help those businesses resolve legal disputes regardless of location,” Messina said.