Barfi! mired by controversy

MUMBAI: The much awaited cinematic offering from director Anurag Basu has run into controversy with Mumbai based Murphy Enterprises. The firm has sent a legal notice to the movie?s producers UTV Motion Pictures and Ishana Films on 10 September for infringing the copyrights of their registered trademarks without obtaining a NOC.

As reported in the media, in the notice, the company has claimed that the film has used the words ?Murphy?, ?Murphy Radio? and ?Murphy Munna? in the title song as well as in the film without any prior written permission. They have also added that if the notice is not taken seriously, the company will be filing a legal suit against the producers that may lead to bringing a stay on the film?s release.

Kapoor?s character is named Murphy but he is addressed as Barfi by all around him. The lyrics of the song in questions go "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 film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Rupa Ganguly and newcomer Ileana D?Cruz.

Surjeet Kurup, the lawyer representing the company, feels that the title song of the film is not only a violation of copyright but shows the company in a bad way.

"In the song Ala Barfi, the brand Murphy Radio is unambiguously mentioned and perceivably in a negative light. It appears that the story line revolves round the theme that the lady desires for a baby like Murphy Munna which is also registered trademark with us," he added.

He has been quoted in the media, "UTV Motion Pictures have done this blatantly without taking consent from the owners of this brand. It has annoyed the brand owners. We have issued a notice to the violators and are intending to proceed to file a suit for injunction and damages for Rs 50 crore."

However, UTV maintains its innocence in the matter. "We are clear that there has been no infringement whatsoever and we are in the process of sending a response to the notice," a UTV spokesperson told the media.

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