A Californian company which owns the rights to the name The Hobbit, is threatening legal action against The Hobbit - a Tolkein-themed Southampton pub.
Saul Zaentz Company owns the worldwide rights to several brands associated with Tolkien, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
British actor Stephen Fry tweets he is ''ashamed'' of the film industry following news of the threatened legal action.
The traditional English pub is not only named “The Hobbit” – it is also bedecked with Hobbit-themed regalia, but its name predates the current movie by 20 years.
It also has murals of characters from author JRR Tolkien's fantasy novels on its walls, and its cocktails and shots are named after the characters,
Fry, in Wellington filming The Hobbit, tweeted: "Honestly, @savethehobbit, sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in. What pointless, self-defeating bullying".
He was replying to an appeal by Save the Hobbit, asking him to "please help us save our local Lord-of-the-Rings-themed pub".
Saul Zaentz lawyers alleging copyright infringement told the pub it must carry out a total rebranding before the end of May, or face legal action.
Landlady Stella Roberts is taking legal advice although she says she doesn't have the legal resources to fight a big company.
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