Just before the release of Anurag Basu’s Barfi!, the film has landed in hot soup when Mumbai-based company Murphy Enterprises sent a legal notice, dated Sept 10, to the producers of UTV Motion Pictures and Ishana Films for trespassing the copyrights of their registered trademarks without obtaining a NOC.
Murphy Radio or the Murphy baby were featured in the print advertisements of Murphy Enterprises, in 1960s and 70s.
The song ‘A La Barfi’ has words like ‘Murphy’, ‘Murphy Radio’ and ‘Murphy Munna’, which is in the film as well, and have been taken without any written permission.
Surjeet Kurup, the lawyer representing the company said,
“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 said.
He added: “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.”
On the other hand, UTV maintains, “We are clear that there has been no infringement whatsoever and we are in the process of sending a response to the notice,” their spokesperson said.
The notice is all about the mother dying as soon as Murphy Radio is put on and so the child is named so, in her memory.