The much anticipated Ranbir Kapoor starrer Barfi! has reportedly landed in legal trouble, days ahead of its release. The Mid Day newspaper reported that the film had been sent a notice by Mumbai-based company Murphy Enterprises for infringing the copyrights of their registered trademarks without obtaining a No Objection Certificate.
The Mid Day report quoted Surjeet Kurup, the lawyer representing the company as saying, “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.”
The legal notice adds that “if the notice is not taken seriously, the company will file a legal suit against the Barfi! team, bringing a stay on the movie release, or further perusal claiming damages worth Rs. 50 crore.”
According to the plotline of the film, Ranbir Kapoor’s character Barfi is actually named Murphy, because his mother died in childbirth while listening to Murphy Radio. Murphy Radio is a British company which used the ‘Murphy baby’ to advertise in India during the 1960s and 70s.
However according to the Times of India, UTV Motion Pictures, who are producing the film, are confident that they are not violating any copyright laws. The report quoted an official statement issued by UTV, which said, “We are clear that there has been no infringement whatsoever and we are in the process of sending a response to the said notice.”