Warner Bros. are being sued by the estate of J.R.R Tolkien and Harper Collins for the licensing agreement struck between the company and Microgaming.
If found guilty, Warner Bros. will be required to pay more than $80 million to the two organisations.
The deal in question is a licensing agreement announced in February 2010 between Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and online casino software provider Microgaming. This deal supposedly gave Microgaming permission to create slots games based themed on the characters in Lord of the Rings.
The Isle of Man-based company duly created The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring which was a big hit with online casino players. Despite having originally committed to creating more Lord of the Rings slots, the initial slot was removed earlier this year.
Publisher Harper Collins and the estate of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R Tolkien have come together in claiming that Warner Bros. did not have the right to sell the rights to the characters.
The lawsuit, which was filed with a District Court in Los Angeles read: “They did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services”.
According to the lawsuit the estate of J.R.R Tolkien only became aware of the slot when a lawyer representing the estate received a spam email.