Tolkien's Estate Very Unhappy About Some Lord of the Rings Video GamesS

A lawsuit that began with spam emails and an investigation into slot machines has turned its great all-seeing eye to the world of video games, with Tolkien's estate claiming that some of Warner Bros' recent titles violate the company's licensing agreement.

Arguing that the licenses for merchandise granted to companies like Warner, New Line and Saul Zaentz Co. only cover tangible products ("figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like"), Warner's "downloadable video games available only on mobile devices or tablets or Facebook" are part of an $80 million suit brought forward by Tolkien's estate, who claim that the three companies listed have "with increasing boldness, engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled".

The suit began when one of the estate's lawyers was sent a spam email in 2010 for an online gambling game bearing the Lord of the Rings license.

Tolkien Estate Sues Warner Bros. Over 'Lord of the Rings' Slot Machines (Exclusive) [THR]