Lawsuit alleges Harry Potter merchandise improperly used font

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Last night the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” premiered in London. This is the final theatrical installment in the popular series. But another drama involving Harry Potter is just going underway, though this one may not have the same compelling storyline and magical universe of the books and movies.

A company which designs typefaces has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando is selling merchandise which improperly used a font that they designed. The font, known as Cezanne Regular, is allegedly used liberally on all of the Harry Potter merchandise. The company, P22 Type Foundry claims to own the copyright on the font.

The company says that the owner of the theme park, NBC Universal, did not ask for or receive permission to use the font for commercial purposes. According to online source the font is indeed very wizardly looking and it fits in well with the designs on the merchandise sold at the park.

While concern over the improper use of a font may seem trivial or mundane in comparison to wildly successful and multi faceted entertainment dynasty such as Harry Potter, both are the products of creative artists who have a right to be compensated for their work.

Of course to the design professionals who dedicate their careers to creating fonts the value and intrigue of various font styles is obvious. The complaint in this lawsuit has pegged that value as at least $1.5 million in damages.

Source: TMZ “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Typeface” July 8, 2011