Judge halts Hobbit imposter
A Californian judge has curtailed underhand – but highly amusing – efforts by Asylum, an independent studio, to cash in on the release of some Hobbit film or other. The studio was seeking to unleash something called Age of the Hobbits on unsuspecting audiences in that great state, but federal judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that punters might confuse the film with a more generously budgeted picture by Peter Jackson. Asylum have previous form in the sound-alike business. Other releases include The Almighty Thor (no Chris Helmsworth), Titanic II (no Leonardo DiCaprio) and The Terminators (search in vain for Schwarzenegger). “The majority of factors weigh in favour of a finding of likelihood of confusion, and no factor weighs against such a finding,” the judge wrote.
“Moreover, the finding is particularly strong on the three factors that courts have found to be the most important, especially in the context of the internet: similarity of the marks, relatedness of the goods and use of similar marketing channels.” You have to admire the chutzpah.