AEW Sued Over Alleged Copyright Violation

Jungle Boy With Jurassic Express Luchasaurus AEW

AEW and one of its stars are facing legal action.

As reported by Wrestlenomics, All Elite Wrestling and Austin Matelson, who performs as Luchasaurus, are facing a legal complaint from Louisiana-based design company Composite Effects, LLC over the use of a copyrighted mask design. The lawsuit, dated December 20, alleges that AEW and Matelson are using the mask on merchandise without the designer’s permission.

The complaint states that Composite Effects (CFX) owns the licensing and design rights to the mask, referred to as “Viper Silicone Mask”, and that Matelson was only entitled to use the mask as a wrestler but not to create merchandise from it. The lawsuit includes various examples of the mask depicted in AEW’s merchandise advertisements, including T-shirts and action figures.

CFX claims that Matelson initially worked with them in December 2016 to have a modified version of the design made and was then modified again in March 2019 before AEW’s first live events with the addition of horns. However, CFX states that it attempted to come to a licensing agreement with Matelson when they learned that he had signed with the company in 2019, but no agreement was reached.

AEW Bought The Rights To A Custom Mask That Was Never Used

In February 2021, CFX and AEW personnel began communications about a new custom mask, which All Elite Wrestling bought the rights to. However, in an email exchange between Matelson and Tony Khan, CEO of AEW, Khan expressed that the current mask was “too iconic” to replace. CFX then sent messages to AEW and Matelson asking them to stop using the design or come to a licensing agreement, but their requests were allegedly ignored.

The complaint also includes a statement from another designer, George Frangadakis, who claims he was approached by Matelson and an associate known as “Jett” in January 2022 to create a mask similar to the CFX design. Frangadakis offered to create a new mask that didn’t resemble the CFX design, but he was not contacted again.

CFX is seeking profits the wrestling company has made related to the alleged infringement, other damages sustained as a result, and attorneys’ fees. The case is currently being held in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana and All Elite Wrestling officials have yet to comment on the lawsuit.