Edinburgh shop faces legal action with Warner Bros over Harry Potter stores
The owners of a Harry Potter memorabilia shop in the Capital face a High Court challenge from Hollywood for an alleged breach of intellectual property rights.
The Great Wizard outlet is run by Gold Brothers, a Scottish company best known for selling tartan souvenirs to tourists.
Along with a Glasgow branch the shop on Victoria Street, described by tour guides as the “Walmart” of Harry Potter shops, is supported by a Twitter account called The Boy Wizard Official.
Warner Bros argues that the shop infringes its IP rights by its use of “the boy wizard” and “the world of wizardry”, according to the Times.
Two weeks ago the owners changed its name from the Boy Wizard to The Great Wizard.
A spokesman said the Fife based firm had agreed to relinquish the name, in a bid to head off a dispute. But they claim they had successfully secured the official trademark from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in March 2018 for “The Boy Wizard”.
The entertainment giant, which has released eight Harry Potter films and two prequels since 2001, cites the shop’s original name “Boy Wizard” in alleged infringements of its exclusive copyright agreement with author JK Rowling.
Warner Bros legal team has lodged a challenge to the shop’s trademark application with the IPO. It also claims the shops’ Twitter account leads customers to believe they are “official” and endorsed by the studio and is seeking damages as well as an injunction to stop Gold Brothers’ “infringing activities”.
Last year Warner Bros claimed they “defeated” an attempt by the firm, whose registered office is in Kircaldy, to trademark the term “world of wizardry” after it applied to register the name for use on sweets, games, clothing and toys.
But Gold Brothers said they didn’t complete their application, in an effort to build a “positive relationship”.
Lawyers for the movie moguls accused the shop of passing off products as licensed merchandise however, the firm argues that was never tested in court.
A spokesman said Warner Bros “takes infringement of our intellectual property rights seriously” and confirmed the High Court action against Gold Brothers (Scotland) Ltd and its directors. A representative for Gold Brothers said: “We have been in negotiations and cooperating with Warner Brothers for over 15 months and we are confused as to why this action has become necessary.”