September 19, 2019 / 12:59 PM / 5 months ago

U.S. pilot who broke sound barrier sues Airbus for trademark infringement

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Chuck Yeager, the retired U.S. Air Force pilot who broke the sound barrier, has sued Airbus SE, saying it used his name, identity and likeness without permission in promotional material for its Airbus Racer helicopter concept.

Yeager, 96, accused Airbus of trademark infringement and violating his right of publicity, in a complaint filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California.

Airbus did not immediately respond on Thursday to requests for comment.

Yeager said the alleged infringement occurred in June 2017, when Airbus posted a promotional piece on its website to highlight its plan to make Airbus Racer a fast and cost-effective way to fly.

It quoted the chief executive of Airbus Helicopters as saying: "Seventy years ago, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier," and that Airbus was now "trying to break the cost barrier. It cannot be 'speed at any cost.'" (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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