Warner Bros’ claims against the estate of The Lord Of The Rings author J.R.R Tolkien will live to fight another day. A federal judge today rejected the estate trustees and Fourth Age Ltd’s motion to dismiss WB and the Saul Zaentz Company’s counterclaims in the multimillion-dollar court battle. “Fourth Age’s Motions to Dismiss Amended Counterclaims and Special Motions to Strike Amended Counterclaims are DENIED,” wrote U.S. District Court judge Audrey Collins in a dense 6-page order (read it here). In March, WB and Zaentz fired back at the estate’s November 2012 $80 million copyright and merchandising lawsuit. The defendant claimed it was hurt financially and had its rights to the author’s properties undermined. WB said in the March filing that the online and other rights being contested by the estate and publisher HarperCollins were worked out in a 2010 re-grant deal and that the plaintiffs have been receiving royalties under that agreement. As one example of suffering financial pain, WB said that it lost millions in foregone license fees after having to cancel an online gambling license agreement with Microgaming because of the estate’s suit. Now those fortunes might shift. Today’s ruling allows the studio and Zaentz to fully pursue their case against the estate — a case that is already moving forward on a parallel track to today’s courtroom action. “Discovery is already underway and we hope to see further developments soon,” WB’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli of LA firm O’Melveny & Meyers told me. Someone in this legal drama is going to be grabbing the ring, if you know what I mean.
Warner Bros Scores Legal Win In ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Battle With Tolkien Estate
What's Hot on Deadline
'Tomorrowland' Bows Overseas With $26.7M, 'Ultron' Dominates With $45.8M, 'Mad Max' Adds $38.2M, 'Spy' Nabs $12.5M
Cannes Winners: The French Did Well, The Italians Didn't - But Who's Complaining After Cinema's World Cup?
TLC "Deeply Saddened" As It Pulls All Episodes of '19 Kids And Counting' In Wake Of Child Molestation Allegations - Update
Hot Cannes 'Circle' Package Imperiled As Alicia Vikander In Talks To Star In 'Assassin's Creed', New 'Bourne' Film
Latest Film News
- Cannes Winners: The French Did Well, The Italians Didn’t – But Who’s Complaining After Cinema’s…
- Anne Meara Dies; Actress, Comedian Of Stiller Family Was 85
- Cannes: Audiard’s ‘Dheepan’ Wins Palme D’Or At Emotional, Musical Ceremony – Update
- Mathematician John Nash, Subject Of ‘A Beautiful Mind’, Dies In Car Crash
- Bart & Fleming: Girl Power Pics, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy, Suzanne Somers And Disney Self-Absorption
- Memorial Day B.O. Runs Cold: ‘Tomorrowland’ Is No Flying Car With $40.7M Bow – Second Sunday Update