They were Hobbit before Hobbit was cool. Techdirt:
The article isn‚Äôt clear if we‚Äôre talking about copyrights, trademarks or both, but either way the whole thing is pretty silly. Yes, the pub ‚Äúfeatures characters from Tolkien‚Äôs stories on its signs, has ‚ÄėFrodo‚Äô and ‚ÄėGandalf‚Äô cocktails on the menu, and the face of Lord of the Rings film star Elijah Wood on its loyalty card.‚ÄĚ But is this really harming the rightsholder? I‚Äôm sure that SZC is doing all sorts of ridiculously lucrative licensing deals for the upcoming Hobbit movie, and so it‚Äôs trying to clear the field of infringers, but all this does is make them look like massive, insensitive bullies. Hell, even Stephen Fry, who‚Äôs starring in the movie, has tweeted how ridiculous this is, calling it ‚Äúpointless, self-defeating bullying.‚ÄĚ But, you know, that‚Äôs pretty much how Hollywood functions these days.
What? It‚Äôs still not cool? Well, it has to be cooler than this sort of lawsuit, doesn‚Äôt it? We know the Tolkien estate is strict, but there‚Äôs a point at which such threats become counter-productive, isn‚Äôt there? What would Professor Tolkien himself thought of it?
Or maybe they are past caring about such things.