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Headline Of The Week: Local Harry Potter Cafe Sued by Warner Bros

By Sarah Moran 18 January 2019
Another day, another series of nauseating news. We get it, it’s difficult to keep up with all the information out there. Sometimes you watch the news and it feels like the world is spiralling out of control (kind of like a bad hangover) and you end up walking away from the TV with a banging headache. In the spirit of public enlightenment, we bring you our weekly fun news column, where we give you the most interesting international, national, or local headline from the past week — that you have likely overlooked.

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Wizards and muggles all over Hong Kong may soon lose our city's only Harry Potter-themed cafe if a copyright infringement lawsuit, heard this week in High Court, is successful. Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, the Hollywood giant behind the Harry Potter films, is accusing 9¾ Cafe in Mong Kok of infringing its copyrights by using trademarked labels such as "Harry Potter", "quidditch", and "muggles". [caption id="attachment_135984" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Platform 9¾ displayed at the cafe[/caption] Aside from this, the studio also took issue with the cafe's display of iconic Harry Potter memorabilia and movie props such as the luggage trolley half-submerged in a wall, the Hogwarts coat of arms, and the Hogwarts Express train ticket for Platform 9¾. As a result, Warner Bros is demanding an unspecified sum of damages, a removal order, plus multiple injunctions from the small cafe which opened its doors in September 2017. [caption id="attachment_135982" align="aligncenter" width="454"] A Felix Felicis potion on offer at the cafe[/caption] The cafe serves a Western menu with Harry Potter-related descriptors such as Professor McGonagall’s Magical Salad, Polyjuice Potion, and Muggle Drink, and although there is a sign in the venue stating that “9¾ cafe is not related to Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Harry Potter, or J.K. Rowling”, the Hollywood studio is determined to see its demise. Now if only there was a spell strong enough to ward off Warner Bros...
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Born and raised in Hong Kong to expat parents, Sarah grew up as your typical third-culture kid, caught between two worlds. As someone who is nosy (or just curious) and loves the written word, there was never any other career that appealed to her as much as journalism. When she’s not busy on her mission to find the line between not enough coffee and too much coffee, you can find her exploring the city or getting stuck in a good book.

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