Southampton Pub "The Hobbit" in Battle For Middle Name

By Gary Cutlack on at

Southampton's The Hobbit pub, which offers an Aragon cocktail, features a very nice Lord of the Rings-inspired mural in its beer garden and has "one loyalty card to bind them all" is in trouble with Hollywood. Over its name, as you might've guessed.

Lawyers representing the Saul Zaentz Company have been in touch, helpfully pointing out that it owns the "exclusive worldwide rights to motion picture, merchandising, stage and other rights in certain literary works of JRR Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit."

They have asked the pub to remove all reference to the copyrighted fictional characters, lest punters get confused about who they're giving their money to. In the pub's defence, landlady Stella Mary Roberts says it's been using the name for 20 years and has been "bringing people to the books and the stories who haven't heard of JRR Tolkien."

Stephen Fry has also given the issue a bit of his time, taking to Twitter to call it a case of "pointless, self-defeating bullying" by the Hollywood mafia.

Meanwhile, dogs, ducks and white horses are reportedly putting together a class action case against 17,500 other name-infringing drinking establishments. [BBC]