Popular “Harry Potter” Merchandise Store Facing Legal Challenge from Warner Bros.
A popular store in Edinburgh, Scotland, for those seeking Harry Potter merchandise is now facing a legal challenge from Warner Bros. for a breach of its intellectual property rights. The Times writes that the Great Wizard, a souvenir store, has come under fire from Warner Bros., which has argued that the store is infringing upon the company’s intellectual property related to the Harry Potter series and Wizarding World franchise.
The store, which also has a location in Glasgow, was previously known as the Boy Wizard, and it operates a Twitter account with the handle @TheBoyWizardUK.
Warner Bros, which has released eight Harry Potter films and two prequels since 2001, cites the shop’s original name in a number of alleged infringements. They include the unlicensed playing of its films in the shops and use of names such as ‘the boy wizard’ and ‘the world of wizardry’, which are allegedly too close to Warner Bros trademarks.
The Times added that this isn’t the first time that Gold Brothers, the owner of the Great Wizard, has been caught up in legal issues with Warner Bros.
A year ago Warner Bros defeated an attempt by Gold Brothers to trademark the term ‘world of wizardry’. The Scottish company, whose registered office is in Kirkcaldy, applied to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to register the name for use on sweets, games, clothing and toys.
Lawyers for Warner Bros accused the company of passing off products as licensed merchandise and lodged a challenge to the trademark application with the IPO. A Gold Brothers director failed to file evidence in time for a hearing and Warner Bros managed to stop the trademark application. The studio received £700 in legal costs.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. commented on the case, as did a representative for Gold Brothers. The Warner Bros. spokesperson stated that the company takes the matter seriously.
Warner Bros takes infringement of our intellectual property rights seriously and have issued a claim at the High Court of England and Wales against the Gold Brothers (Scotland) Ltd and its directors and associated individuals to protect those rights.
The representative for Gold Brothers issued the following statement:
We have been in communications with Warner Bros for over 15 months and we hope to positively resolve this matter with them in January.