As the public awaits for the new film by Ranbir Kapoor, titled “Barfi”, the movies goes into a legal trouble. The British firm Murphy enterprise which owns Murphy radios have sent a legal notice to UTV Motion Pictures for the use of Murphy’s name in the title track “Ala barfi” without the consent of the manufacturers and Murphy enterprise have also accused UTV producers for depicting the brand name of Murphy radios in negative light.
Murphy Radio is a British manufacturer of radios and televisions based in Welwyn Garden City, England. Murphy Enterprises owns Murphy Radio, which featured the cute Murphy baby in their advertisement in the mid 60s and 70s. The company is miffed with the use of their brand name by UTV Motion Pictures without seeking permission.
Murphy Enterprises’ advocate, Sujit Kurup, who has sent a legal notice dated September 10 to UTV Motion Pictures reveals, “The film has used the name of the brand extensively. Apart from the song, the storyline too has Murphy incorporated in it. We hear the hero’s ambition in the film is to become ‘Murphy munna’. Not only have they used the client’s name without our NOC but they have also done a negative portrayal of the brand. This is clearly a case of trademark infringement.”
In the movie Ranbir Kapoor plays the role of a deaf-mute guy named Murphy but everyone around him addresses him as Barfi. A song is named “Ala barfi” which is picturized on Ranbir Kapoor whose lyrics are as follows,”Barfi jo amma ji ki kokh mein tha soya/amma ne murphy ka radio mangaya/barfi munna jaisa lalla/amma ka tha sapna/ munna jab haule haule duniya mein aaya/baba ne Ceylon wala station lagaya/radio on hua, amma off hui/toota har sapna.”
The legal notice to UTV Motion Pictures which was dated 10th September 2012 and is under Trademarks act, 1999. The case was filed under Section-29(1), 29(4), 29(6) and 29(7). It states that UTV have not asked for No Objection Certificate from Murphy enterprise. They also said that if their complaint is not taken seriously than they can even go to the extent of asking for a stay on the release of the movie.
Murphy enterprise is seeking compensation of Rs. 50 crores. Sujit Kurup siad that, “If they do not respond to our notice, we will seek an injunction and ask for a stay of the release of the film”. He also stated that as UTV is short of time because of nearby release date so they will make every effort to move out of court before release date.
On the other hand UTV production house is confident that there is no trademark infringement. The spokesperson from the production house stated that, “We are clear that there has been no infringement whatsoever and we are in the process of sending a response to the said notice.”
The plaintiff waited for the last dates before the release of the movie and sent the legal notice just four days prior to the release of the movie. This ascertains the plaintiff that they can ask for hefty amounts from the producers and if the producers fail to provide monetarily relief than the plaintiff can even get a stay order on the release of the movie which will result in losses.
Earlier there was dispute on song “Munni badnam hui” from the movie ‘Dabang’ produced by Arbaaz Khan Productions. Emami sued the production house for trademark infringement for the use of the word “zandu bam”. The case was settled out of the court and production house paid them some amount and ‘Malaika Arora Khan’ agreed to endorse the brand.