AEW & Luchasaurus Being Sued Over Mask Design
AEW and Luchasaurus being sued
Luchasaurus and All Elite Wrestling are being sued over the former AEW World Tag Team Champion's mask, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics has revealed.
Composite Effects, LLC made a legal complaint in December against AEW and Austin Matelson (AKA Luchasaurus), claiming they are using a copyrighted mask design for merchandising purposes without their permission. Composite Effects stated they own "licensing and design rights on all of our characters" and that Luchasaurus is entitled to use the mask design for pro wrestling events but not merchandise.
Composite Effects are seeking profits that AEW and Luchasaurus have made from the mask design along with other damages and the covering of their attorney fees.
Luchasaurus worked with Composite Effects in 2016 to create a modified version of their 'Viper Silicone Mask' design and horns were added to the mask in March 2019 before AEW's first shows. Upon learning that Luchasaurus had signed with AEW, they tried to reach a licensing agreement with him but no deal was reached. Composite Effects asked AEW and Luchasaurus in 2022 either to reach a licensing agreement with them or to stop using the design. No deal was agreed upon, though.
In 2021, Composite Effects and AEW began talking about a new custom mask for Luchasaurus, a mask which AEW bought the rights to, but the decision was made after it shipped in August 2021 that the wrestler's horned mask was "too iconic."
Luchasaurus allegedly told them in an email: "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."
A written declaration from another designer, George Frangadakis, states that he was approached by Luchasaurus in January 2022 to create a similar mask to the one that CFX holds the copyright to but he declined to do so, instead offering to create a new mask due to "legal issues that needed to be handled."
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.