July 31, 2014 10:10 am
Updated: July 31, 2014 10:16 am

Woman with ‘Skywalker’ middle name refused passport; told copyright infringed

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and the character Yoda appear in this scene from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" in this 1980 publicity image originally released by Lucasfilm Ltd. A woman in England who added "Skywalker" as her middle name said officials rejected her passport application because the name was "subject to copyright or trademark."

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-ho-Lucasfilm Ltd

TORONTO – A woman in England who added “Skywalker” as her middle name said officials rejected her passport application because the name was “subject to copyright or trademark.”

Laura Matthews said she legally adopted the last name of the iconic Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker in 2008 “as a joke” but had since been using the signature ‘L. Skywalker’ in legal documents.

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“It’s on my driving licence, my bank cards, everything,” said Matthews. “Everyone else is happy with that signature apart from [the] passport office.”

The 29-year-old says her application to renew her passport was refused and was told that the Home Office in the UK, the lead government department for immigration and passports, “will not recognize a change to a name which is subject to copyright or trademark.”

“We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the U.K. passport is not called into question or disrepute,” said a spokesperson.

Matthews said she did not think her name change would cause so many problems.

“It’s been extremely stressful trying to sort all this out and I’ve now missed my trip to Amsterdam because of it,” she said. “The whole application process has been an utter shambles from start to finish.”

Matthews says she has been told that if she wishes to get her passport renewed, she must re-apply with her old signature.

“I just wish they had told me all this sooner so I didn’t have to miss out on my holiday. The whole situation is a complete mess.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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