Feeds

Lawyers of Mordor retreat from The Hobbit

Southampton boozer spared legal sword

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

It's doubles all round at The Hobbit boozer in Southampton at the news that the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) has called off the lawyers of Mordor, who were attempting to take down the Portswood pub for trademark infringement.

SZC wrote to The Hobbit pointing out it had "exclusive worldwide rights to motion picture, merchandising, stage and other rights in certain literary works of JRR Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit".

Accordingly, it took a dim view of the serving of "Frodo" and "Gandalf" cocktails, and the use Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood's face on the hostelry's loyalty card.

"Stunned" landlady Stella Mary Roberts said earlier this week of the threat to The Hobbit: "We don't have the financial resources to fight it – I can't fight Hollywood."

As it turned out, she didn't have to. A Facebook campaign and the support of luminaries such as Sir Ian McKellen – coupled with substantial press coverage – have now apparently prompted SZC to reconsider.

It's insisted that all it ever wanted was a nominal $100 fee for The Hobbit's “unauthorised merchandise” and use of film images, and that the matter can be resolved amicably.

Saul Zaentz told the Southern Daily Echo: "We’re not against these people. I absolutely don’t want to see it closed. If I’m ever in the neighbourhood I’ll stop in for a drink.

"Our intention is not to put any established business out of business. I just don’t want to do that, because people work hard to make businesses successful. We had to do this. We had no choice.

"The law says that unless you protect your trademark it becomes diluted and you can lose it."

A delighted Roberts said: “That’s brilliant. We can’t complain at that. It is such a relief. It has been very stressful not knowing what is going on.

"We have all been upset because we are very proud of what we do here. But the support we have been receiving has been overwhelming." ®

Bootnote

You can blame the interwebs for this whole sorry, and completely unnecessary affair. Zaentz explained: "If it wasn’t for the internet we probably wouldn’t have found out about this pub. They’ve been posting a lot of things recently."

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.