Judge halts Hob­bit im­poster

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REEL NEWS -

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. dclarke@irish­times.com

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