Warner Brothers trademarks Harry Potter lingerie

2010-11-25 10:45

New York – Sure, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 raked in an astounding $330 million (about R2.3 billion) worldwide in its opening weekend, but with Part 2 coming next summer, Warner Brothers is facing the twilight of its magical franchise.

No fear. The studio still has lots of opportunity to milk its cash cow.

In a blog post entitled Expecto Legalus on Greenberg Glusker’s website, attorney Dan Nabel points out that Harry Potter’s favourite sport Quidditch has recently become an actual athletic event with a competitive circuit in New York City. Nabel examines whether Warner Brothers has any legal recourse to shut it down.

We already know that Warner isn’t too keen on Harry Potter condoms. And it turns out that the studio has grabbed extensive trademark rights over Quidditch.

The studio’s first rights grab came back in November 1999. Warner went with the basics, locking up the typical Quidditch merchandise that might one day be licensed to playmakers:
“Sporting goods, games and playthings, namely, action figures and accessories therefore; plush toys; balloons;
bathtub toys; ride-on toys; equipment sold as a unit for playing card games; toy vehicles; dolls; flying discs; electronic hand-held game unit; game equipment sold as a unit for playing a board game, a card game, a manipulative game, a parlour game, a parlour-type electronic game and an action type target game; stand alone video output game machines; jigsaw and manipulative puzzles; paper face masks; skateboards; ice skates; water squirting toys; balls, namely, playground balls, soccer balls, baseballs, basketballs; baseball gloves; swimming floats for recreational use; kickboard flotation devices for recreational use; surfboards; swim boards for recreational use; swim fins; toy bakeware and toy cookware; toy banks; and Christmas tree ornaments’’

The fact that the studio trademarked Quidditch t-shirts will surprise nobody, but how about Quidditch lingerie?

“Clothing for men, women and children, namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging suits, trousers, pants, shorts, tank tops, rainwear, cloth bibs, skirts, blouses, dresses, suspenders, sweaters, jackets, coats, raincoats, snow suits, ties, robes, hats, caps, sunvisors, belts, scarves, sleepwear, pajamas, lingerie, underwear, boots, shoes, sneakers, sandals, booties, slipper socks, swimwear and masquerade and Halloween costumes and masks sold in connection therewith’’
It doesn’t stop there.

Here’s what the studio secured Quidditch trademark rights to in 2007:
“Motion picture films featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and animation, and motion picture films for broadcast on television featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and animation; audio tapes, audio-video tapes, audio video cassettes, audio video discs, and digital versatile discs featuring music, comedy, drama, action, adventure, and animation; stereo headphones; batteries; cordless telephones; audio cassette and CD players; CD ROM computer game discs; telephone and radio pagers; short motion picture film cassettes featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and animation to be used with hand-held viewers or projectors; video cassette recorders and players, compact disc players, digital audio tape recorders and players; radios; mouse pads; eyeglasses, sunglasses and cases therefore; game equipment sold as a unit for playing a parlour-type computer game; video and computer game programs; video game cartridges and cassettes; cellular telephone accessories, namely, hands-free accessories, cellular telephone covers and cellular telephone face covers; encoded magnetic cards, namely, phone cards, credit cards, cash cards, debit cards and magnetic key cards; and decorative magnets”

And then in 2008:
“Printed matter and paper goods, namely, books featuring characters from animated, action adventure, comedy and drama features, comic books, children’s books, magazines featuring characters from animated, action adventure, comedy and drama features, colouring books, children’s activity books; stationery, writing paper, envelopes, notebooks, diaries, note cards, greeting cards, trading cards; lithographs; pens, pencils and cases therefore, erasers, crayons, markers, coloured pencils, painting sets for children, chalk and chalkboards; decals, heat transfers; posters; mounted and unmounted photographs; book covers, book marks, calendars, gift wrapping paper; paper party favours and paper party decorations, namely, paper napkins, paper place mats, crepe paper, paper hats, invitations, paper table cloths, paper cake decorations; printed transfers for embroidery or fabric appliqus; printed patterns for costumes, pajamas, sweatshirts and t-shirts.’’

And then in 2009:
“Bath linens, namely, bath towels and wash cloths; bed linens, namely, bed blankets, bed canopies, bed pads, bed sheets, bed spreads, pillow cases, comforters, duvet covers, mattress covers, dust ruffles, crib bumpers, pillow shams and bed spreads; textile wall hangings; curtains; draperies; linen; kitchen linens, namely, barbecue mitts, cloth doilies, cloth napkins, dish cloths, fabric table cloths, kitchen towels, fabric place mats, oven mitts, washing mitts, fabric table runners, pot holders and cloth coasters; handkerchiefs, quilts, and golf towels.’’

Even that was not enough to cover the gambit of all things Quidditch. So Warner Brothers. made yet another trademark registration in 2009 over these rights:
“Clocks; watches; jewellery, namely, bracelets, ankle bracelets, brooches, chains, charms, cuff-links, earrings, lapel pins, necklaces, ornamental pins, pendants and rings.’’

Add it all up and Warner Brothers could open its own department store. The film franchise may be coming to an end, but the studio can sell Quidditch ankle bracelets forever.

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