Warner Brothers And Tolkien Estate Settle $80 Million Lawsuit

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After five years of litigation, Warner Bros. and the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien have announced in court that they have amicably resolved a fight over the digital exploitation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Some back history on the suit, back in 2012 J.R.R. Tolkein’s estate and publisher HarperCollins Took Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, and Saul Zaentz Company to court, as the duo insisted that the trio had breached their contract and infringed on the Lord Of The Rings rights. New Line Cinema are the subsidiary studio of Warner Bros. that produced the Lord Of The Rings films, while Saul Zaentz has owned the rights to J.R. R. Tolkein’s Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings books since 1976.

Rather than this dispute being about any of The Hobbit or Lord Of The Rings films, Tolkein’s estate and HarperCollins were instead furious that the studios had used the characters in a variety of other endeavors, which included video games, online slot machines, and a number of other pieces of digital merchandising.

 

Warner Bros. flipped the table on Tolkein and HarperCollins when the studio decided to countersue, accusing the other companies of breaking the contract themselves. It was a basic legal mess.

Fast forward 5 years and here we are with an end to the legal battle,  Terms haven’t been publicly disclosed and  the countersuits were also settled by the agreement. I reached out to Warner Brothers for a statement and they responded with

 “The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future.”

 

 

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