'Skywalker' signature rejected by passport officials

image captionLaura Matthews paid £49 to add her new middle name after joking about it with friends

A woman who added "Skywalker" as a middle name has been told by passport officials her signature infringes a trademark.

Laura Matthews, 29, changed her name by deed poll in 2008 "for a bit of a laugh".

She recently tried to renew her passport and amended her signature to "L. Skywalker".

The Home Office said it "will not recognise a change to a name which is subject to copyright or trademark".

image copyrightAP/Lucasfilm
image captionLuke Skywalker first appeared in Star Wars in 1977

"We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute," a spokesman said.

Ms Matthews, who lives in Southend, said she had never encountered problems with her middle name or signature before.

"It's on my driving licence, my bank cards, everything. Everyone else is happy with that signature apart from passport office," she said.

Adding the name - which made her Laura Elizabeth Skywalker Matthews - came about after a conversation with friends.

Despite the recent problems with her passport, she does not regret her decision.

She has been told she might have to submit a new passport form with her old signature, but would be able to keep her new name on the document.

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