I don't really understand most peoples' attitude to this case, so I will probably get downvoted. But I don't see how this pub have won some kind of moral victory. Please tell me where my logic is wrong here.
SVC own the rights (trademarks of the names use in relation to beverages amongst other things). They have to defend those rights or risk losing them.
The pub knew someone owned some kind of rights on those names, or ought to have (obvious to anybody who thinks about it for 10 seconds) and it is not exactly difficult to find out who owns the trademark and what it covers these days - its searchable on the IPO site.
If the pub had asked permission before doing it, SVC would have been perfectly within their rights to just say no. And they might well have said no, simply because it is too expensive to deal with a little pub so they can't be arsed. Or because they thought such a deal might cheapen the brand. Would anyone have got on their high horse about that? I doubt it.
So this pub infringe SVC's rights, either because they didn't have the common sense to find out what the legal situation is, or they just hoped they would never get caught out. When SVC do find out, why on earth shouldn't they adopt the same policy they would have done if the pub had asked?
I don't think they originally only wanted the £100 fee - they wanted to restore the situation to what it would have been if the pub had asked permission (ie no LOTR theme). Nothing evil about that, it is their entitlement as rights holders. Having backed down in the face of a somewhat unjustified public backlash, you can't blame them for trying to put a positive spin on it.
Isn't their a real ale called Hobbit? Assuming they paid for the rights, I wonder what they think about Hobbit themed cocktails?