Hobbit-themed Airbnb near Osoyoos threatened by Warner Bros. for trademark infringement
The popular South Okanagan Airbnb named Hobbit Mountain Hideaway after J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "Lord of Rings" books will be changing its name after a threat from Warner Bros. which owns the trademark to the word hobbit.
Christine Le Combe and her husband purchased the Halfling Hideaway, located roughly 30 minutes east of Osoyoos, last year and renamed it the Hobbit Mountain Hideaway. It's been a hugely popular vacation destination since it opened in 2019.
Earlier this week, Le Combe was contacted by entertainment media company Warner Bros. and was told her the word “hobbit” is a trademarked and asked her to take down the listing.
Instead of bowing to the pressure and just taking down the listing, she decided to ask her Instagram followers to vote on a new name.
“Having to get out of my comfort zone and engage with the community has been a good experience,” Le Combe said.
“I really didn’t think that somebody would copyright the word hobbit and then try to hunt a person down if they use the word hobbit because it’s not like I meant any harm. The hobbit house is an homage to the favourite book series of a lot of people.”
The posting will not have to be removed from the website, she said, so nothing will be affected other than the name.
“At the end of the day, it’s laughable but it’s almost flattering that they have nothing better to do than go after small businesses,” she said.
Voting for the new name will continue on Instagram until tonight, May 21.
So far, Second Hideaway Breakfast has been the most popular choice.
Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for for comment.
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