Judge Denies AEW’s Request To Dismiss Ongoing Lawsuit

AEW logo and roster graphic

In January, it was reported that AEW was the subject of a legal complaint regarding a copyright violation.

According to a report from Wrestlenomics, Louisiana-based company Composite Effects, LLC launched a complaint against both All Elite Wrestling and Austin Matelson, better known as Luchasaurus.

The complaint stems from the copyright of Luchasaurus’ mask design, with the December filing stating that AEW and Matelson are using the mask on merchandise without the designer’s permission.

They claim 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.

CFX says it attempted to come to a licensing agreement with Matelson after learning that he had signed with the company in 2019, but no agreement was reached.

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, Khan expressed that the current mask was “too iconic” to replace. CFX then sent messages to the company and Matelson asking them to stop using the design or come to a licensing agreement, but their requests were allegedly ignored.

Judge denies AEW’s motion to dismiss lawsuit

In March, AEW and Matelson filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, but in the latest update to the case, a Louisiana judge has denied the motion, instead ruling that Composite Effects had “adequately pleaded” both its breach of contract and LUPTA claims.

You can find the full nine-page ruling on the CourtListener website.

Luchasaurus returned to TV on the April 5th edition of Dynamite after several months away following his defeat to Jungle Boy at Full Gear in November. On the show, he reunited with Christian Cage.