'Harry Potter' Font Lawsuit Settled With a Wave of NBCU's Wand

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on January 31, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The halls of Hogwarts will remain standing -- and so will the gift shops at Universal theme parks.

NBC Universal has settled the Harry Potter font lawsuit, and will continue to plaster merchandise with P22 Type Foundry's Cezanne Regular font.

Alas, your Hogwarts stationary set and Hedwig pillow will not become collectors' items for another few years.

For those who don't keep abreast of celebrity font lawsuits, P22 sued the studio over its use of the Cezanne Regular font on Harry Potter merchandise sold at its Universal theme parks. The July lawsuit received much criticism, particularly because fonts are not copyrightable.

But P22 continued on with its Harry Potter font lawsuit, further claiming the studio breached the licensing terms associated with the font software. Those licenses tend to prohibit commercial use without prior consent.

In other words, you generally can't brand merchandise with a corporation's carefully created font without paying them a hefty sum first.

For P22 Type Foundry, that hefty sum was in the amount of $1.5 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That's nothing compared to what NBC Universal makes from its Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction and associated merchandise.

And with plans to build a second attraction in Southern California, that amount will surely increase.

Which is probably why the studio agreed to settle the Harry Potter font lawsuit. The headache, the legal fees and the uncertainty were probably not worth it. Plus, a settlement likely cost NBC Universal significantly less than the $1.5 million asking price.

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