Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins are suing The Saul Zaentz Company and Warner Bros. Tolkien Estate alleges that the companies are merchandising beyond the bounds of what was agreed in the 1969 deal with the studio and rights holder Saul Zeantz.

“The original contracting parties thus contemplated a limited grant of the right to sell consumer products of the type regularly merchandised at the time (such as figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like). They did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services,” says the 26-page complaint.

“Not only are gambling services outside the rights granted, but this exploitation of Tolkien’s well-loved work has offended and distressed Tolkien’s devoted fans, harming Tolkien’s legacy and reputation,” The Tolkien Estate said in a separate statement to Deadline.

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