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"Mockbuster" film studio The Asylum in legal trouble over the word Hobbit


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Old 09-11-2012, 15:23
Verence
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http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...r-8298168.html

Seems to me that the makers of The Hobbit are getting a bit precious
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Old 09-11-2012, 17:52
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""Age of the Hobbits is about the real-life human subspecies, Homo Floresiensis, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, which have been uniformly referred to as 'Hobbits' in the scientific community," a rep for The Asylum told The Hollywood Reporter."

Oh, complete coincidence, then.

Sick of Asylum and their awful movies. About time they bit the dust.
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Old 09-11-2012, 18:03
Conall Cearnach
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I'm pretty sure the word "Hobbit" is an invention of JRR Tolkien and the rights to it are owned by the Tolkien estate. The makers of The Hobbit would have paid for the exclusive right to the works (or maybe not if you asked Christoper Tolkien) and they should be allowed to use it without some other crowd mooching of someone else's work. The fact that some ancient race of humans have been dubbed "Hobbits" by the press doesn't alter that.
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Old 09-11-2012, 18:29
Wulfster
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You think that's bad ... wait 'til you get a load of this new Asylum film!!

http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/613...ment-sharknado
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Old 09-11-2012, 18:40
Verence
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""Age of the Hobbits is about the real-life human subspecies, Homo Floresiensis, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, which have been uniformly referred to as 'Hobbits' in the scientific community," a rep for The Asylum told The Hollywood Reporter."

Oh, complete coincidence, then.

Sick of Asylum and their awful movies. About time they bit the dust.
Personally I rather enjoy their films
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Old 09-11-2012, 18:46
stuartjk
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You think that's bad ... wait 'til you get a load of this new Asylum film!!

http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/613...ment-sharknado
Awesome Love the tagline. Has it got Nazis in it as well?
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Old 09-11-2012, 19:07
Sniffle774
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Awesome Love the tagline. Has it got Nazis in it as well?
Sharks AND nazis....dare we hope
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Old 09-11-2012, 19:38
stuartjk
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Sharks AND nazis....dare we hope
Well they have kept various documentary channels going for years, so its only a matter of time!!

Maybe they should combine the three staples of the discovery channel, sharks, nazis and the Titanic into one huge mockbuster!

Have they done zombie sharks yet?
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Old 09-11-2012, 19:39
Verence
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Well they have kept various documentary channels going for years, so its only a matter of time!!

Maybe they should combine the three staples of the discovery channel, sharks, nazis and the Titanic into one huge mockbuster!

Have they done zombie sharks yet?
How about zombie sharks created by Nazi aliens from the future??
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Old 09-11-2012, 19:43
stuartjk
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How about zombie sharks created by Nazi aliens??
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Old 09-11-2012, 19:49
Verence
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Directed by and starring C Thomas Howell and featuring Tiffany and Debbie Gibson
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:22
Takae
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http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...r-8298168.html

Seems to me that the makers of The Hobbit are getting a bit precious
It's trademarked. It has to be defended each time someone uses it without permission. If they knowingly don't defend the trademark, they lose the right to renew their trademark of 'Hobbit'.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:12
theonlyweeman
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It's trademarked. It has to be defended each time someone uses it without permission. If they knowingly don't defend the trademark, they lose the right to renew their trademark of 'Hobbit'.
They should have the Hobbit trademark in the first place, since they didn't invent it, they just licensed the book rights from the Tolkein family.

Also, it's what The Asylum are famous for and not even a moron in a hurry is going to confuse the two...
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:17
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I thought that Transmorphers would have got them into trouble. I imagined parents accidently buying it!
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:48
Takae
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They should have the Hobbit trademark in the first place, since they didn't invent it, they just licensed the book rights from the Tolkein family.
It doesn't matter who invented it and how. Either it's trademarked or it isn't. It's that simple.

They didn't license just the book rights. They also license film rights. Those rights give them a right to register various distinctive names as trademarks in the US, which put a stop to all people in the US using trademarked names or words to promote their own venues and ventures in association with the fantasy genre in all platforms (literature, gaming, entertainment, leisure, etc).

Hobbit is so heavily associated with Tolkien that no one can ever think otherwise. For example, if you named your baby Hobbit, you won't get sued, but people will assume you were a Tolkien fan. That's why Hobbit as a trademark can be so easily defended by its trademark holders. The Asylum has screwed up. No doubt about it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 19:30
theonlyweeman
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It doesn't matter who invented it and how. Either it's trademarked or it isn't. It's that simple.

They didn't license just the book rights. They also license film rights. Those rights give them a right to register various distinctive names as trademarks in the US, which put a stop to all people in the US using trademarked names or words to promote their own venues and ventures in association with the fantasy genre in all platforms (literature, gaming, entertainment, leisure, etc).

Hobbit is so heavily associated with Tolkien that no one can ever think otherwise. For example, if you named your baby Hobbit, you won't get sued, but people will assume you were a Tolkien fan. That's why Hobbit as a trademark can be so easily defended by its trademark holders. The Asylum has screwed up. No doubt about it.
Trademark law is designed to present confusion, if anyone is confused by the official film and the mockbuster co-existing with similar titles, they are probably not of a comprehension level to understand either....

US law allows for parody, The Asylum could easily play the parody card and argue fair use of the name based on that.... Assuming a judge brought it there's a bugger all TimeWarner or the Tolkein family could do.
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Old 10-11-2012, 20:27
Edmond-Dantès
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I'm pretty sure the word "Hobbit" is an invention of JRR Tolkien and the rights to it are owned by the Tolkien estate. The makers of The Hobbit would have paid for the exclusive right to the works (or maybe not if you asked Christoper Tolkien) and they should be allowed to use it without some other crowd mooching of someone else's work. The fact that some ancient race of humans have been dubbed "Hobbits" by the press doesn't alter that.
Lots of misinformation in the reporting of this story.

1. Tolkien popularized the word 'Hobbit' but didn't event it. The word predates him and one of its first occurrences is found in the Denham Tracts (London: Folklore Society, 1895):
"What a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good luck to be born on the eve of this festival of all festivals; when the whole earth was so overrun with ghosts, boggles, Bloody Bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, spectres, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies, hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars, nymphs, imps, incubuses, spoorns, men-in-the-oak, hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs, kitty-witches, hobby-lanthorns, Dick-a-Tuesdays, Elf-fires, Gyl-burnt-tales, knockers, elves, rawheads, Meg-with-the-wads, old-shocks, ouphs, pad-foots, pixies, pictrees, giants, dwarfs, Tom-pokers, tutgots, snapdragons, sprets, spunks, conjurers, thurses, spurns, tantarrabobs, swaithes, tints, tod-lowries, Jack-in-the-Wads, mormos, changelings, redcaps, yeth-hounds, colt-pixies, Tom-thumbs, black-bugs, boggarts, scar-bugs, shag-foals, hodge-pochers, hob-thrushes, bugs, bull-beggars, bygorns, bolls, caddies, bomen, brags, wraiths, waffs, flay-boggarts, fiends, gallytrots, imps, gytrashes, patches, hob-and-lanthorns, gringes, boguests, bonelesses, Peg-powlers, pucks, fays, kidnappers, gallybeggars, hudskins, nickers, madcaps, trolls, robinets, friars' lanthorns, silkies, cauld-lads, death-hearses, goblins, hob-headlesses, bugaboos, kows, or cowes, nickies, nacks, waiths, miffies, buckies, ghouls, sylphs, guests, swarths, freiths, freits, gy-carlins, pigmies, chittifaces, nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies, wirrikows, alholdes, mannikins, follets, korreds, lubberkins, cluricauns, kobolds, leprechauns, kors, mares, korreds, puckles, korigans, sylvans, succubuses, blackmen, shadows, banshees, lian-hanshees, clabbernappers, Gabriel-hounds, mawkins, doubles, corpse lights or candles, scrats, mahounds, trows, gnomes, sprites, fates, fiends, sibyls, nicknevins, whitewomen, fairies, thrummy-caps, cutties, and nisses, and apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its spectre, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!"
As with much of Tolkien's legendarium, he borrowed words, names and ideas from Norse, Welsh and Finnish mythology not to mention Christianity. Gandalf and most of the dwarven names from The Hobbit for example are derived from the Prose Edda (Völuspá).

2. This has nothing to do with the Tolkien Estate. In fact these kinds of issues haven't concerned the Estate for a very long time. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have nothing to do with them anymore. The two I.Ps solely belong to Middle-earth Enterprises a division of the Saul Zaentz Company. The Estate however have ownership of The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales, The Children of Hurin, The History of Middle-earth series and Tolkien's other non-Arda related works and will for a very long time, hence no more film adaptations.
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Old 10-11-2012, 21:00
Takae
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Trademark law is designed to present confusion, if anyone is confused by the official film and the mockbuster co-existing with similar titles, they are probably not of a comprehension level to understand either....
LOL. You have to admit there's a cause for concern. The Hobbit is being promoted at the moment as its due release is next month, so when people type 'hobbit' in a search engine, they are likely to stumble across film trailers, reviews, articles and posts for Age of the Hobbits, which effectively dilutes the power and influence of the trademark. This is the heart of their complaint. That's why they are calling for the Asylum to curb their online and print marketing campaign.

US law allows for parody, The Asylum could easily play the parody card and argue fair use of the name based on that.... Assuming a judge brought it there's a bugger all TimeWarner or the Tolkein family could do.
They will have a tough time if they opted for the parody angle because that would mean admitting to using a trademark knowingly. Over 70% of previous trademark lawsuits that used the parody angle didn't win because they couldn't prove why they didn't create a parody without using a trademarked asset.

If they are willing to go as far to have goblins in their film, what stopped them from creating a word that resembles 'hobbit', such as 'habbit', when the goblin presence makes it clear that it's a parody of The Hobbit or whatnot? They will really have to be clever to justify the parody and fair use angles, but I don't think they can pull it off.

Trademark system in the US is insane, flawed and out of control. It badly needs a reform. But as it stands, like it or not, the Hobbit trademark holders are in the right.
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Old 10-11-2012, 22:16
theonlyweeman
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LOL. You have to admit there's a cause for concern. The Hobbit is being promoted at the moment as its due release is next month, so when people type 'hobbit' in a search engine, they are likely to stumble across film trailers, reviews, articles and posts for Age of the Hobbits, which effectively dilutes the power and influence of the trademark. This is the heart of their complaint. That's why they are calling for the Asylum to curb their online and print marketing campaign.



They will have a tough time if they opted for the parody angle because that would mean admitting to using a trademark knowingly. Over 70% of previous trademark lawsuits that used the parody angle didn't win because they couldn't prove why they didn't create a parody without using a trademarked asset.

If they are willing to go as far to have goblins in their film, what stopped them from creating a word that resembles 'hobbit', such as 'habbit', when the goblin presence makes it clear that it's a parody of The Hobbit or whatnot? They will really have to be clever to justify the parody and fair use angles, but I don't think they can pull it off.

Trademark system in the US is insane, flawed and out of control. It badly needs a reform. But as it stands, like it or not, the Hobbit trademark holders are in the right.
There is no cause for concern, you'd have to be really idiotic to confuse a direct to DVD pisstake, with the Peter Jackson directed official trilogy...

Regardless of whether they are in the right, they are really stupid, cos they've just given The Asylum way more publicity by complaining about them trying to free ride off their publicity....
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Old 11-11-2012, 00:56
Takae
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There is no cause for concern, you'd have to be really idiotic to confuse a direct to DVD pisstake, with the Peter Jackson directed official trilogy...

Regardless of whether they are in the right, they are really stupid, cos they've just given The Asylum way more publicity by complaining about them trying to free ride off their publicity....
You still don't get it. OK, my last word on this:

In the US, they are LEGALLY OBLIGED to defend their trademark because otherwise they will lose the trademark. That's the way the trademark system works in the US. It doesn't matter if it's stupid or whatever. I repeat, every trademark holder is legally bound to defend it against every unauthorised use of their trademark. They have to do it if they want to keep their trademarks.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:06
theonlyweeman
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You still don't get it. OK, my last word on this:

In the US, they are LEGALLY OBLIGED to defend their trademark because otherwise they will lose the trademark. That's the way the trademark system works in the US. It doesn't matter if it's stupid or whatever. I repeat, every trademark holder is legally bound to defend it against every unauthorised use of their trademark. They have to do it if they want to keep their trademarks.
They don't need the trademark, they aren't legally obliged, they want the trademark. They could easily let it slip (nobody would've probably noticed or cared about the Asylum's film, and The Asylum are unlikely to try and trademark it), the success of the film doesn't depend on the exclusive use of the word "Hobbit" in film.

There's no need for the trademark (which was really my point), but Warner Brothers probably don't think that, so needed to sue.
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Old 11-11-2012, 15:07
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It's trademarked. It has to be defended each time someone uses it without permission. If they knowingly don't defend the trademark, they lose the right to renew their trademark of 'Hobbit'.

Yeah, I remember "Dungeons and Dragons" had to use
the word "Halfling" for their small jolly folk after
the Tolkien estate complained.

I've have more sympathy for the Asylum if their films
weren't so atrocious.
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:16
stuartjk
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There is no cause for concern, you'd have to be really idiotic to confuse a direct to DVD pisstake...
Sadly there are people out there who will be taken in. I was browsing in the Tesco dvd section a while ago, and the couple next to me could not understand how they had 2 films on sale both called 2012. One was priced at 12.99 and the other was 5.99. The 5.99 one was some cheap knockoff rubbish (admittley not by the Asylum) and the 12.99 one was the 2009 Emmerich blockbuster. Ok, Both of them were crap,for different reasons, but they were convinced they were the same film, even though the covers were different! I thought about trying to explain it to them, but they seemed convinced tesco had made a mistake, even though they had different covers! I last saw them at the checkout, buying the 5.99 2012 dvd. I bet they were dissapointed later on!!!
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:19
theonlyweeman
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Sadly there are people out there who will be taken in. I was browsing in the Tesco dvd section a while ago, and the couple next to me could not understand how they had 2 films on sale both called 2012. One was priced at 12.99 and the other was 5.99. The 5.99 one was some cheap knockoff rubbish (admittley not by the Asylum) and the 12.99 one was the 2009 Emmerich blockbuster. Ok, Both of them were crap,for different reasons, but they were convinced they were the same film, even though the covers were different! I thought about trying to explain it to them, but they seemed convinced tesco had made a mistake, even though they had different covers! I last saw them at the checkout, buying the 5.99 2012 dvd. I bet they were dissapointed later on!!!
I could perhaps understand if they had the same name, but when the titles aren't even vaguely similar, and they'd be disappointed regardless of which version they saw...
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Old 11-11-2012, 22:02
Helbore
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Maybe they should combine the three staples of the discovery channel, sharks, nazis and the Titanic into one huge mockbuster!

Have they done zombie sharks yet?
The hidden truth about how the Titanic was sunk by mutant Nazis riding zombie sharks in the hunt for ultimate power provides a backdrop to the compelling story of a rich English girl's torrid love affair with an experimental human-chimp crossbreed superspy.
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