Ocean Outdoor win 2 year legal tussle over The Two Towers Lord of the Rings trademark

Ocean Outdoor has won the right to name two sets of advertising towers as ‘The Two Towers’; following a protracted two year rights battle with a Hollywood firm which claimed ownership of the phrase made famous in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings tales.

Hollywood rights firm Saul Zaentz had asserted its ownership of the contested title as it currently owns the intellectual property rights to The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, leading it to contest that Ocean had infringed its rights.

This was rejected by the intellectual property office however; as were separate claims that Ocean had used the name detrimentally to the ‘distinctive character’ of the films.

Ocean marketing director Richard Malton, said: “We took on Hollywood and we won,” he says. “We have never tried to pass off our two towers as either Orthanc or Minus Morgul – I’m not sure it would have helped us attract the type of brands that we look to engage with.

“We vigorously defended our right to use the Two Towers as a name for our iconic locations and luckily, common sense has prevailed. The irony wasn’t lost on us – the small being pushed around by the big. But as we all know, Frodo wins in the end!”

Ocean is now claiming costs against SZC for the time and cost of defending its action.

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