Five years ago, a battle was waged in the real realm started in the name of the “Lord of the Rings.” Back in 2012, Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins were filing official papers to declare a legal battle. The lawsuit worth was estimated at a total of $80 million against Warner Bros. After such lengthy endeavors and hardships, this chapter came to an amicable end. Unfortunately, no one made public any details of the final settlement.
The Legal Battle over Intellectual Rights Infringement Had an Amicable End
After five years of legal battles, Tolkien Estate, Harper Collins, and Warner Bros reached an agreement. Even though there is not a great deal of insights revealed concerning the case, it is known that neither party has to cover any punitive payments.
It all started back in 2012 when J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate and publisher HarperCollins forced Saul Zaentz Company, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros representatives to present themselves in front of a legal court. Their allegations regard a contract infringement on the intellectual rights for “Lord of the Rings.” Saul Zaentz purchased in 1976 ownership for “Hobbit” and the trilogy books for “Lord of the Rings.” As for New Line Cinema, this is Warner Bros’ subsidiary studio where the famous movies were produced.
Tolkien’s Estate Didn’t Want Its Characters to End up in Gambling Games
However, the contract breach doesn’t have anything to do with the movie production. Rather the plaintiffs were not content with the way the producer chose to represent the beloved characters outside the movies. The trio decided to allow different gambling games to employ representations of the main characters from the books in their designs.
Tolkien estate built its case around the 1969 sale of film rights. The document did award buyers the right to employ places, objects, characters, and events from this fictional world, but only with some limitations. For instance, the contract stipulates sales of material merchandise, such as clothing and figurines, but forbids agreements on digital or electronic interpretations. However, it turns out that the lawsuit settled for an amicable end.
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