Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 25 August 2008 15:01 UK

Warner 'sues over Puttar movie'

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Warner Bros says it wants to protect intellectual property rights

Harry Potter maker Warner Bros is suing an Indian film company over the title of upcoming film Hari Puttar - A Comedy Of Terrors, according to reports.

Warner Bros feels the name is too similar to that of its world famous young wizard, according to trade paper The Hollywood Reporter.

A spokesman confirmed the lawsuit against Mumbai-based Mirchi Movies.

The case is reportedly due to be heard in Bombay High Court. The film is due to open in India on 12 September.

"We have recently commenced proceedings against parties involved in the production and distribution of a movie entitled Hari Puttar," Warner Bros spokeswoman Deborah Lincoln told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Warner Bros values and protects intellectual property rights.

"However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation."

'Unfortunate timing'

Hari is a popular Indian name while Puttar means son in Punjabi.

Hari Puttar, directed by Rajesh Bajaj and Lucky Kohli, stars Zain Khan as Hari alongside veteran Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff.

In my opinion, I don't think our title has any similarity or links with Harry Potter
Munish Purii
Mirchi Movies

It tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who moves to England with his parents and becomes embroiled in a battle over a secret microchip.

Munish Purii, of Mirchi Movies, told The Hollywood Reporter: "We registered the Hari Puttar title in 2005 and it's unfortunate that Warner has chosen to file a case so close to our film's release.

"In my opinion, I don't think our title has any similarity or links with Harry Potter."

Two weeks ago, it was reported that the release date for the next Potter film - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - had been pushed back by eight months to July 2009.

Warner Bros said the decision had been taken in order to guarantee the studio a major summer blockbuster in 2009.

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