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Karan Johar moves Bombay High Court against film ‘Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar’

By Jhanak Singh      13 June, 2024 12:01 AM      0 Comments
Karan Johar moves Bombay High Court against film Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar

Mumbai: Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar has filed a suit in the Bombay High Court against the makers of the upcoming film “Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar,” which is set to release on Friday, seeking to prevent the use of his name in the film’s title. Johar has also filed an interim application seeking urgent relief to restrain the film’s release during the pendency of the suit. The matter is listed before Justice RI Chagla tomorrow for urgent reliefs, Advocate Parag Khandhar appearing for Karan Johar stated.

“That, by using the brand name of Plaintiff in the title of the said Film, the Defendants are creating confusion in the minds of public at large that the said Film is associated with Plaintiff as the general public will immediately identify and associate the use of the name “Karan” and “Johar” together in the title of the said Film solely with the Plaintiff upon becoming aware of the title of the said Film,” the plaint reads.

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Karan Johar claims he has no affiliation with the film and that the defendants are unlawfully using his name. The film, co-produced by IndiaPride Advisory Pvt. Ltd. and Sanjay Singh and directed by Bablu Singh, allegedly infringes on Johar’s personality rights, right to publicity, and right to privacy. The plaintiff asserts that the film’s title directly references his name, unlawfully exploiting his brand, reputation, and goodwill without authorization. The plea states that the unauthorized use of his name in the film’s title is intended to capitalize on his established reputation, which is not permissible under the law.

The plaint states that Karan Johar is a prominent public figure both in India and globally and is uniquely identified by the combination of the names “Karan” and “Johar.” The public exclusively associates this combination with Johar, making it his brand name. The defendants, by using “Karan Aur Johar” or “Karan Johar” in their film’s title, are allegedly exploiting Johar’s brand name without authorization, leveraging his goodwill and reputation.

The plaint further states that Johar’s name has acquired a distinctive identity and secondary meaning due to his widespread popularity in media and entertainment, particularly Bollywood. This status under intellectual property laws grants Johar the right to prevent others from using his well-known and distinctive name. As a public figure, Johar has the right to protect his privacy and personality, the plaint states.

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The film is set to be released on June 14, 2024. Trailers have already been distributed on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, and posters are displayed in public areas across Mumbai, the plaint states. Johar contends that these actions are causing and will continue to cause irreparable damage to his reputation and goodwill, built over years of dedicated work and investment.

“Upon perusal of the said Trailers, it is evident that the said Film is a B-grade film in which the story shows the protagonists making a Bollywood film of a romantic genre. Thus, the Defendants are not only directly inferring to the Plaintiff by using his name and his personality, but are also making a mockery of the Plaintiff by portraying the story of making of a B-grade film by protagonists named “Karan” and “Johar” in the said Film,” the plaint reads.

In his suit, Johar has sought a permanent injunction restraining the makers from using his name, either in full or in parts, in any capacity in the film’s title, and from using Johar’s personality attributes or any references to him in the film’s title and promotional materials, including goods, advertisements, posters, and social media. Johar has sought direction to the makers to remove his name or any part of it from the film’s title and all promotional content. He has also sought an injunction on the film’s release and any promotional activities until his name is removed from the title. Johar has also sought directions to the makers to stop using his name or personality on their website and social media platforms, as well as issue a clarification that the film is not associated with him in any manner.

Case Title: Karan Johar v. IndiaPride Advisory Pvt. Ltd. and Ors.



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