The official name of the Oscar statuette is the Academy
Award of Merit. Made of gold-plated britannium on a
black marble base, it is 13.5 inches (34 cm) tall,
weighs 8.5 lb (3.85 kg) and depicts a knight holding a
crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with five
spokes, signifying the original branches of the Academy:
Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers and Technicians.
Legend has it that Cedric Gibbons designed the award on
a notepad while at a meeting.
The root of the name "Oscar" is contested. Some believe
it came from Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who saw
it on a table and said, "it looks just like my uncle
Oscar!" Others claim that Bette Davis named it after her
first husband. However it came to be, both Oscar and
Academy Award are registered trademarks of the Academy.
The Academy's domain name is oscars.org and the official
Web site for the Awards is at oscar.com.
Since 1950 the statuettes have been legally encumbered
by the requirement that neither winners nor their heirs
may sell the statuettes without first offering to sell
them back to the Academy for $1.