No happy end for Switzerland’s Harry Popper condoms

After a lengthy battle, the Swiss manufacturer of Harry Popper condoms has lost a trademark dispute with US entertainment giant Warner Brothers.

No happy end for Switzerland’s Harry Popper condoms
Warner Bros. was not amused by the novelty condoms. Photo: Magic X

Swiss sex shop chain Magic X has been distributing its novelty Harry Popper condoms for over a decade.

The packaging of the condoms features a magician wearing distinctive Harry Potter-style round glasses and waving a magic wand.

But US entertainment firm Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc, which along with author J.K. Rowling, owns the rights to the Harry Potter trademark, was not amused by the product.

In 2008, the US company filed a suit with the Schwyz Cantonal Court calling for the Swiss firm to stop using the Harry Popper name. The Swiss court went on to take up the matter in 2010.

“The image of my client is at risk,” a Warner Bros. lawyer said at that time, arguing that anyone who saw the condoms would automatically think of the schoolboy magician.

But Magic X argued the Harry Popper trademark had been registered in 2006 and had nothing to do with the character from the hugely popular books and films.

A long legal battle ensured, with Warner Bros. in 2011 calling for damages to be paid based on profits made by Magic X for sale of its condoms.

In 2017, the Schwyz Cantonal Court finally found in favour of Warner Bros. and called on the sex shop chain to pay over 150,000 francs in damages – a sum decided by the court after Magic X failed to provide figures on profits derived from the sale of the condoms.

Magic X then appealed to the Federal Supreme Court but this appeal has now been rejected, Swiss news agency SDA reported on Wednesday.