EXCLUSIVE Simon Mowbray A legal loophole could open the floodgates for a grocery merchandising bonanza using popular films and characters without permission, The Grocer has learned. Kids' drinks supplier Hall & Woodhouse said it had found a "watertight" way to run a Harry Potter promotion on its Panda Pops brand without running into legal trouble. And it claimed there was nothing to stop other manufacturers following suit, meaning that films such as current blockbuster The Lord of the Rings could also be fair game. The company has begun a six-month promotion to give away official trading cards based on the boy wizard's adventures. A spokeswoman said: "We cannot use the words Harry Potter' in isolation without mentioning the promotion, and we have produced our own artwork, but what we are doing is legal." Hall & Woodhouse was reluctant to specify the loophole, but is likely to be exploiting a grey area' which has already caused the High Court to refer a similar case, between Arsenal football club and an unofficial merchandise trader, to the European Court. A spokesman for Warner Bros, which owns the intellectual rights to Harry Potter, said the company could not comment on individual cases but added: "We will actively seek to stop anyone who uses Warner Bros' intellectual properties without authorisation." {{NEWS }}