High Court dismisses plea of Warner Brothers (Lead)

September 22nd, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed a plea by Hollywood studio Warner Bros against Mirchi Movies’ forthcoming film ‘Hari Puttar - A Comedy of Terrors’ for alleged copyright violation. Justice Reva Khetrapal dismissed the plea stating that Warner Bros could have brought the case three years ago and said that people could easily distinguish Hari Puttar from Harry Potter.

The judge found that there was no “commonality” between the names. He allowed the producer of the Bollywood film to release it as per schedule.

“Consumers who had read Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling were sufficiently educated to know that Hari Puttar was different,” the judge said in her 26-page interim order.

“The defendants (Warner Bros) have painstakingly trudged a considerable distance in the production of the film, which is now complete and at the stage of release… Their belated attempts to trip up the defendants at the finishing line is a course which, in my opinion, is diametrically opposed to the cardinal principle,” the judge said in the order.

Warner Bros filed the case against the movie saying the title ‘Hari Puttar…’ is similar to ‘Harry Potter’, Warner’s franchise of Rowling’s book series, and therefore an infringement of its intellectual property rights.

The court decision means the Indian film can be released in India Sep 26.

Mirchi Movies contended that ‘Hari Puttar…’ is an Indian name, meaning god’s son in Hindi and Punjabi.

‘Hari Puttar…’, about a lonely kid’s adventure, was earlier slated for release Sep 19 but was deferred due to the legal tangles.

Hari Puttar tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who moves to England with his family and becomes involved in a plan to save the world.

Directed by Lucky Kohli and Rajesh Bajaj, the film stars Sarika, Jackie Shroff, Zain Khan, Swini Khara, Saurabh Shukla, Vijay Raaj and Lilette Dubey.

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