The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the producers of Bollywood film Tera Intezaar for using the word “Barbie” in a song without the permission of Mattel Inc, the manufacturers of the trademark Barbie dolls, Bar and Bench reported.
The single judge bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, however, refused to grant ex-parte injunction against the toy company. The court also noted that the plea may be considered at the notice stage.
“It will be open to the counsel for the plaintiffs to, with or without a copy of this order, call upon the defendants to delete the word ‘Barbie’ from the impugned song and to notify the defendants that on their failure to do so, the plaintiffs would be entitled to damages from the defendants,” Justice Endlaw noted.
Mattel told the court in its plea that the song and its lyrics have been used “in a manner antagonistic to the values and interests of the customers target base, the plaintiffs cater to”, Live Law reported. The song, which features actor Sunny Leone, is “provocative and inappropriate for younger girls and children, tarnishing and degrading the distinctive quality of the Barbie”, the company said.
Justice Endlaw noted that courts in the United States had held that music companies’ use of “Barbie” in a song was not an infringement of the toy manufacturer’s trademark. Quoting from an older judgment passed by the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit from 2002, the judge said, “The parties are advised to chill.”
Corrections and clarifications: This article has been updated to reflect that the Delhi High Court was quoting from a 2002 US court judgment while advising the parties involved in the matter to ‘chill’.