Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, the American entertainment company behind the Harry Potter films, has been fighting a ten-year trade mark battle that has recently ended.
The success of the Harry Potter books and subsequent film adaptations has cemented the value of the Harry Potter franchise as one of the highest grossing of all time. The success of the books and the films has brought with it a wealth of companies creating spin off products from wands and sweets to clothing and jewellery. The majority of manufacturers are authorised and licensed to sell Harry Potter merchandise however every now and again an unauthorised manufacturer rears its head selling more unusual Harry Potter merch (think unauthorised Chinese sequels featuring Harry Potter and Triceratops).
The dispute in question, between Warner Bros and Swiss sex shop chain, Magic X, centered around the obviously unauthorised sale of 'Harry Popper' condoms. Magic X had registered the trade mark for 'Harry Popper' in 2006 and had been selling the condoms since 2008. When Warner Bros discovered the sale of the inappropriate products in 2008 they took the matter to the Swiss Courts.
Warner Bros argued that the sale of the product would damage the reputation of the Harry Potter brand but Magic X argued that their trade mark had nothing to do with the fictional character.
The court however sided with Warner Bros and ordered Magic X to pay the sum of USD 161,000 in profit sales for trade mark infringement. Magic X appealed the decision and the appeal went to the Federal Supreme Court last week where the previous decision was upheld.
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