This was posted on the alt.usage.english newsgroup recently:
"The word 'hobbit' has certainly been seeing a lot of legal action
lately, thanks to the Saul Zaentz Company and Middle-earth Enterprises,
which own trademarks on various Tolkien terms. First there was The
Hobbit pub, which was threatened with legal action if they didn't change
their name, but settled on a licensing deal thanks to support from 'The
Hobbit' actors James Frey and Sir Ian McKellen. Then came 'Age of the
Hobbits,' a rather obvious cash-in low-budget film from The Asylum
studio, which claimed their hobbits had nothing to do with Tolkien's.
They're also facing legal action demanding the title be changed. Yet
today, the legal brawl has extended into the scholarly realm, as a
professor who had planned to use the word 'hobbit' in his lecture title
was forbidden permission by the SZC."
Full story here:
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