Deus sues movie over fake jacket

Deus Ex Machina fake jacket

Australian motorcycle apparel, accessories and custom company Deus Ex Machina is suing two movie studios over a fake jacket used in the “schamltzy” teen romance film The Sun is Also a Star.

The green and yellow bomber-style jacket worn by the film’s female star Yara Shahidi features the brand name on the back.

However, it is not a genuine product of the company. In fact, it is nothing like any of their hipster-style motorcycle gear.

Deus filed the lawsuit for unspecified damages in Los Angeles, alleging trademark infringement by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Fake jacket

They claim the jacket is “gaudy and inferior” and “not consistent with and/or is inferior in quality” to their products.

“The jacket is not a product of Deus Ex Machina,” the plaintiffs allege.

“Deus Ex Machina is informed and believes that the jacket was created by defendants for the movie.”

The company has objected to being associated “with a schmaltzy teen-style love story” and “a flop”.

The movie certainly was a flop, costing $US9 million to make and grossing just $US6 million at the box office.

Deus also alleges the male lead, Charles Melton, posed for promotional photos on social media wearing genuine Deus Ex Machina gear.

They claim this creates the impression that Deus Ex Machina was “involved in promoting the movie and that the use of inferior infringing products and references in the movie to Deus Ex Machina were authorised”.

Yamaha SR400
Yamaha SR400 by Deus

 

Deus ex Machina means “god from the machine”.

The company started in 2006 with customised motorcycles and has branched out int a worldwide hipster fashion phenomenon.

5 Comments

  1. Hahaha! This bit is funny:

    ‘The company has objected to being associated “with a schmaltzy teen-style love story” and “a flop”.’

    Not the image they wanted their line of too-cool-for-school trustafarian outfits to portray. LOL. Too bad…

    I Googled the image of the offending jacket, and it doesn’t have that clothing company’s logo on it. It says simply “DEUS EX MACHINA” in block capitals, in a neutral script.

    I don’t think the clothing company can win this case. The phrase “deus ex machina” has been in use for a very long time indeed:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

    1. Doesn’t matter how long the term has been in use for, they have trademarked it for use. Just as literally hundreds of thousands of other brands have, or are you suggesting that you can replicate the following trademarks because the words/phrases have been in use for a long time?
      Sprite
      Nike
      Shell
      Billabong

      Just to name a couple.

      1. You are wrong.

        First, “deus ex machina” is in common parlance in the world of theatre and movies, rather like a hard case for a mobile phone could be called a “shell”. The phrase isn’t being used as a trademark to sell either a movie or a jacket in this case. Rather, it’s being used to describe something in the plot of the movie.

        “Sprite”: a word still in common use in fantasy fiction and computer games, to (correctly) refer to a sort of kobold mythological creature.
        “Nike”: a name still in common use in academic works on Ancient Greek mythology and religion.
        “Shell”: a word still in common use to refer to the hard outer part of sea molluscs, and more generally for hard protective covers.
        “Billabong”: no idea what that is.
        “Deux ex machina”: a phrase in common use in, inter alia, the dramatic arts, theatre, the stage and movies – the very place it was originally used.

        The example you’re looking for is “McDonald”. Mr McDonald opens an engineering shop, and calls it McDonald’s Engineering. Nobody mistakes it for a fast food chain.

        The idea that the company “Shell” owns all uses of the word “shell” wherever it may appear, for example an Ebay ad for a protective cover for a mobile phone, is hogwash.
        The idea that the company with the trademark “Deus ex machina” can now exercise a veto over its use in theatre, where it describes either an actual dramatic apparatus or a feature of a plot or narrative, is also hogwash.

        1. Did you actually read the article? Couple of relevant quotes from it:
          “The green and yellow bomber-style jacket worn by the film’s female star Yara Shahidi features the brand name on the back.” and “Deus also alleges the male lead, Charles Melton, posed for promotional photos on social media wearing genuine Deus Ex Machina gear.”

          The phrase “deus ex machina” was put on an item of clothing that was shown in the film. A clothing company has the trade mark “deus ex machina”. This company is pursuing the trademark violation for putting their protected trademark on an item of clothing, which a reasonable person would therefore assume was manufactured by said company.

          They ARE NOT trying to “exercise veto over its use in theatre” they are trying to stop people from putting their trademark (for clothing) on clothing.

          (Oh and Billabong is an Aboriginal word for a watering-hole, and is a popular brand of surf clothing. Shell is a petrol station brand.)

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