A motorcycle apparel and accessories company filed a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement Friday in Los Angeles against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment, claiming the studios used a knockoff of one of the company’s bomber jackets in a movie.
Deus Ex Machina, which has a store in Venice, alleges that in the 2019 teen drama “The Sun Is Also a Star,” an actress wears a “gaudy and inferior” bomber-style jacket with the words “Deus Ex Machina” inscribed in the back in large letters, but the jacket is not a product of the company, according to the Los Angeles federal court filing.
Representatives of the studios could not be reached for comment after regular business hours.
The suit contends that the style and coloring of the jacket allegedly used in the film “is not consistent with and/or is inferior in quality” to what consumers and motorcycle enthusiasts associate with the Deus Ex Machina brand.
“The jacket is not a product of Deus Ex Machina,” plaintiffs allege. “Deus Ex Machina is informed and believes that the jacket was created by defendants for the movie.”
According to the complaint, “The Sun Is Also a Star” received mixed notices, and was a box-office failure, grossing just $6 million against its $9 million budget.
The Australia-based company also alleges that the lead actor in the film, Charles Melton, posed for promotional photos posted to social media in which he wore genuine Deus Ex Machina gear, “creating 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 authorized.”
The film tells of a young couple who fall in love, while one of their families faces deportation.
Plaintiffs further object to the company being associated “with a schmaltzy teen-style love story” and “a flop,” according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.