Warner Brothers Facing Lawsuit Over Lord of the Rings Casino Games

One slot to rule them all


Years after paying the heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien a Hobbit-sized pittance from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy's $3 billion box office, Warner Bros. faces another lawsuit from the Tolkien estate—for creating and licensing Middle-Earth-inspired casino games.

The Tolkiens say their devoutly religious father never would have approved of using his creations in slot machines; that moviemaker Saul Zaentz Co. is illegitimately claiming trademark in "paper goods and printed matter;" and that whatever rights the defendants do own are for "tangible products," which do not include downloads or electronic games.