16th Mar 2012 4:30pm | By Alasdair Morton
The Hobbit pub in Southampton, which was under threat with a hefty legal bill after the US film company that owns the rights to the Middle Earth sage objected to its name despite it having been in place for twenty years, has been given the all clear.
Landlady Stella Roberts was facing a hefty bill after the producer Paul Zaentz, who owns Middle-earth Enterprises, objected not only to the pub’s name, but to its Hobbit-themed décor and choice of cocktails.
The Hampshire establishment, a popular watering hole with students, has a decidedly Orc-based internal design theme and serves cocktails such as Legolas, Frodo and Gandalf named after characters from Tolkien’s famed work.
Roberts though was faced with a bill that would have stretched in to the thousands to remove all mention of Middle Earth from the pub, including rebranding that would have involved the removal of the name.
Zaentz has said: “we’ve tried to be very gracious. We said in the letter [that was sent to Roberts], rather than engage in protracted and expensive litigation, we would prefer to resolve this matter amicably.
“We think asking for a nominal licensing fee is very reasonable. I think $100 would be about the maximum we would charge.”
He went on to say that if he is ever in the neighbourhood then he will stop by for a drink.