Posted on September 30, 2008 in IP by Brian RoweView Comments

JK Rowlings lost the Hari Puttar case, article from 24 hour news:

Warner Bros, the entertainment giant which owns the rights to the blockbuster Harry Potter films, had sought to block the release of the Indian movie on the grounds that its title sounded too similar to the name of the wizard hero of their series.

The Delhi High Court on Monday threw out the petition by Warner Bros, saying that readers of the Harry Potter books, written by JK Rowling, were sufficiently educated to know Hari Puttar was different.

I think the court made the right call in this case, but wonder if we would have the same result in the US.  The US a trademark claim of initial interest confusion could end up with the opposite result. With initial interest confusion a trademark owner claims another is using a confusingly similar mark to create confusion in the minds of the public, but the use is in a way that prior to the actual transaction, the consumer is no longer actually confused as to the origins of the product or service.

Another way to think of this is that one is trading on anothers mark to get the attention of consumers, but not to confuse them as to the source of the products or services. (Please speak up if you do not agree with this statement of the law, Copyright and Patents my areas of expertise. Trademarks law is much newer to me)

Two images you make the call:

Hari Puttar Film Website

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