HC stays overseas release of film ‘Dil Maange More’

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Ruling in favour of soft drinks major Pepsi, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained producer Nikhil Panchamiya and director Anant Mahadevan from licensing the international distribution/overseas release, audio and video rights of their film ‘Dil Maange More’. The film stars heart-throb Shahid Kapoor. It order said that licensing of international distribution would be effective if it was not already granted to somebody.

While passing the injunction order on a petition filed by Pepsi India claiming trademark rights over the phrase ‘yeh dil maange more’, Justice Tirath Singh Thakur observed: “...the defendants shall not transfer the rights in the offending film/cinematograph in any of the modes in case the same have not already been transferred in favour of any third party. I further direct that the defendants shall not transfer the domain name dilmangemore.com to any third party if not already transferred,” he said.

Counsels for the company Rajiv Nayyar and Pratibha Singh contented that Pepsi enjoyed copyright on the phrase ‘yeh dil mange more’ which was an original literary work legally recognised by reason of its registration. “The company had made considerable investment in making the said work popular to an extent that the same is now identified with the company’s product in India and abroad,” he said.

Pepsi had coined the phrase ‘yeh dil maange more’ for its advertising campaign in December 1998 and the brand has been endorsed by various personalities ranging from popular film stars to cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Kajol, Preity Zinta, Remo Fernandes and Amrish Puri.

According to the petition, earlier Coca-Cola, Omni Ltd, the producers of Tamil film Pepsi-Inda Ullam Kekkume More (Translation of Pepsi-yeh dil maange more), and North Delhi Power Corporation (users of phrase yeh dil maange more electricity) were restrained from using the said slogan/title.

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