NBC Universal settles dispute over use of “Harry Potter” font

The font itself is not copyrightable, but its software is

NBC Universal (NBCU) and P22 Type Foundry have waved their magic wands and made a lawsuit disappear. The two parties settled a dispute over whether NBC was allowed to use a certain font on the “Harry Potter” merchandise it sold at Universal theme parks.

P22 filed the $1.5 million lawsuit in July 2011, claiming that Universal was not permitted to use its Cezanne Regular font on merchandise such as “Hedwig Pillows” and “Hogwarts Stationary Sets.” U.S. law does not authorize typefaces to be copyrighted, according to Chapter 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, however, software can be. Font software often comes with licensing terms that prohibit its use for creating commercial goods.

This time, though, we won’t get to see the battle between typeface and teen wizard get duked out in the courts. NBCU and P22 agreed to end their dispute over whether NBCU breached an end-user licensing agreement on the font software, and a judge dismissed the lawsuit.

Read more in the Hollywood Reporter.

Contributing Author

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.