Warner files case on Mirchi Movies over Hari Puttar title

(Story Updated: 21 August, 2008 | 6:00 pm)

MUMBAI: Warner Bros Studios has filed a case on The Times of India Group’s movie division Mirchi Movies in connection with latter’s film Hari Puttar – A Comedy of Terrors.

The case has been filed as the title Hari Puttar sounds similar to Warner Bros’ movie franchise Harry Potter. According to information available with Businessofcinema.com, Warner Bros thinks it is only fit that Mirchi Movies changes movie title and does not ride on their movie. The hearing of the case will be held on 25 August. Hari Puttar is slated for release on 12 September, 2008.

The name Hari Puttar is actually an Indian version of Harry Potter and stemmed years ago as a gag when the first Harry Potter film hit theatres in India. The word literally stands for Hari – an Indian name and Puttar meaning son.

Mirchi Movies CEO Munish Purii says, “The title Hari Puttar has been registered since 2005 and the studio was aware that we are producing a film with this title. So filing a case just before the release of our film is a matter of concern. And moreover, I do not think there is any link in the two names whatsoever.”

An official statement sent to Businessofcinema.com from Warner Bros. said, "We confirm that we have recently commenced proceedings against parties involved in the production and distribution of a movie entitled Hari Puttar. Warner Bros. values and protects intellectual property rights. However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation."

Incidentally Warner Bros’ latest offering of the Harry Potter movies titled Harry Potter and The Half Blood Price is slated to release worldwide on 17 July, 2009.

Hari Puttar is produced by Dreamtown Productions and is presented by Mirchi Movies. It is directed by Rajesh Bajaj and Lucky Kohli. The movie stars Zain Khan, Sweeny Khara, Sarika, Jackie Shroff, Saurabh Shukla and Vijay Raaz and has an item song by Shamita Shetty.