Suit against 'Hobbit' movie by Tolkien estate

The estate of JRR Tolkien is suing the makers of The Hobbit movie for copyright infringement and breach of merchandising contract.

Lawyers for the estate and five other parties filed the $US80 million law suit against Warner Brothers, New Line Cinema and Saul Zaentz, in a Los Angeles court on Monday.

Court papers said the companies have exploited their rights to merchandise products relating to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies.

Also the companies had with increasing boldness engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled - such as casino slot machines with a Lord of the Rings theme.

Court papers said the production of gambling games patently exceeds the scope of merchandising rights, and has outraged Tolkien fans and caused irreparable harm to the writer's legacy.

Next story in World: Women bishops voted down by Anglican synod