Jan 4: In the jingle-jangle world of advertisement, copywriters have often ripped off or spoofed Bollywood movie titles and phraseology to plug a commercial product.
But when Bollywood returns the compliment, soft drinks giant Pepsi spills its guts.
At issue is the Pepsi jingle 'Yeh Dil Maange More' ' an expression turned into a patriotic battlecry by an intrepid young army captain who uttered the words before setting out to storm Tololing during the Kargil war and lost his life.
Cut to 2005: Bollywood latest sensation Shahid Kapur stars in a movie called Dil Maange More. Last Friday, the movie released in theatres across the country and Pepsi scrambled to nix it on the ground that it infringed its copyright on the phrase.
Today, Delhi High Court restrained the producer and director of the film ' Nikhil Panchamiya and Anant Mahadevan respectively ' from releasing the movie overseas or licensing its international distribution rights. The order also restrains them from giving cable and internet rights.
The court said the restraint order on licensing international distribution rights would be effective if they had not been granted to someone.
The injunction order was passed on a petition filed by Pepsi which said it had trademark rights over the phrase 'Yeh Dil Maange More'. The next date for hearing has been fixed for early February. The court has also sent out a notice to the makers of the film who will now have to respond.
But Panchamiya said no action could be taken since the film had been released and licences for its international and video rights already given. 'How can we do anything about a film that has already been released'
Pepsi filed its petition in the high court yesterday ' too late to stop the domestic distribution of the film.
Panchamiya said he was yet to get the court order and received Pepsi's notice only yesterday. He said it was a move to generate publicity by the cola giant. Lashing out at the timing of the affair, the film's publicist said Pepsi knew of the title from the beginning. 'The publicity began two months ago. They must have noticed it then. Why approach the court now' the publicist said.
Reacting to the court order, a Pepsi spokesperson said: 'The injunction reinforces our registered copyright to the line 'Yeh Dil Mange More,' which we have used for several years in the course of our business.' It was coined in 1991 by advertising firm JWT (then known as HTA) as a plug for Pepsi ad.
Pepsi did not respond when asked whether it planned to stop the showing of the film in domestic theatres. The company maintained it was objecting to the title since it infringed on its copyright and would await the court's verdict.
The film stars Shahid Kapur with three heroines, including Soha Ali Khan, daughter of Sharmila Tagore. This is Soha's first Hindi film ' and she has a lot of hopes riding on it. The other two heroines, Ayesha Takia and Tulip Sharma, are both making their debut. But the legal tangle makes life more difficult for the producers of the popcorn flick, which has failed to set the cash registers ringing.
However, the film has attracted a lot of corporate interest. Recently, Hindustan Lever Limited held a 'Clinic All Clear dil maange more kamaal ke baal' contest. The winners met Shahid ' who endorses the product ' at the premiere of the film in Mumbai.