According to the Times, the Estate and heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien are suing New Line for their share of the profits of the trilogy. The rights granted in 1969 granted them a 7.5% share of the gross profits for both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films. New Line inherited the rights in 1998.
Apparently New Line is not making any comment but will this throw yet another spanner into the works for the Hobbit film?
This not the first time that New Line have been sued over profit sharing with this trilogy. Peter Jackson eventually settled out of court as did Saul Zaentz (who licensed the live action rights to New Line and produced the 1978 animated version).