January 29, 2013

Jenner & Block successfully prevented a low-budget movie originally called “Age of the Hobbits” from being distributed under that name, arguing that the title unlawfully tried to cash in on Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.’s blockbuster “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” The Firm is representing Warner Bros., New Line Cinema,  MGM Studios, and The Saul Zaentz Company in its trademark infringement suit against production company The Global Asylum, accusing it of pursuing a business model intended to confuse and mislead consumers.

In December, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted a temporary restraining order against Asylum that foiled its plans to begin selling its film three days before the Dec. 11 release of “The Hobbit” in theaters.  On January 29, Judge Gutierrez issued a preliminary injunction, saying new evidence further indicatedthat Global Asylum attempted to deceive customers expecting to see the Warner Bros.’ movie. The preliminary injunction bars Asylum from advertising, selling or distributing any film titled “Age of the Hobbits” or using any mark that is similar to “The Hobbit" or “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

News of the preliminary injunction was reported in several outlets includingThe Hollywood Reporter, Law360, and Variety.

The Firm team is led by Partner Andrew J. Thomas and includes Associates Julia B. Cherlow, Kirsten C. Jackson, and Daniel D. Welsh.