The buzz surrounding Netflix’s original series Killer Soup had been visible long before its debut on the streaming platform. With a stellar cast featuring Manoj Bajpayee and Konkona Sen Sharma and a creative and out-of-the-box marketing campaign, the series had intrigued audiences and critics alike. Upon its release on January 11, 2024, Killer Soup garnered praise for its gripping storyline and captivating performances. However, just two months after its premiere, the series found itself embroiled in controversy as Kewal Kiran Clothing (KKCL), the company behind the iconic Killer Jeans brand, filed a lawsuit against Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP and MacGuffin Pictures LLP, producers of Killer Soup. The bone of contention? The alleged infringement upon KKCL’s trademark “Killer” by the web series title.

Killer Jeans fills a lawsuit against Netflix's Killer Soup

The Legal Battle Unfolds

KKCL’s legal team argued that the unauthorised use of the term “Killer” in Killer Soup violated their intellectual property rights. Having meticulously registered the trademark “Killer” in 57 classes over the span of a decade, KKCL asserted its ownership over the term, citing its widespread recognition and association with its products.

Killer Soup to face a lawsuit by KKCL, parent company of Killer Jeans

The Bombay High Court scheduled the initial hearing for March 11, setting the stage for a contentious legal showdown. In a press release, KKCL revealed its demand for 10 crore in symbolic damages, emphasising the importance of protecting its brand identity.

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Netflix and MacGuffin Pictures Response

In response to the lawsuit, Netflix Entertainment and MacGuffin Pictures were instructed to cease using the term “Killer,” issue an unqualified apology, and provide a written assurance of non-infringement on KKCL’s intellectual property rights in the future. The notification served as a stern warning to both entities, urging compliance with KKCL’s demands to avoid further legal repercussions.

Killer Jeans fills a lawsuit against Netflix and MacGuffin for Killer Soup

Impact on Killer Soup and the Industry

The controversy surrounding Killer Soup raises significant questions about intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry. While the series has garnered acclaim for its creative merits, its title now stands as a focal point in a legal battle that showcases the complexities of trademark infringement.

The outcome of this case could set a precedent for future disputes between the entertainment industry and established brands, shaping the landscape of intellectual property protection in India’s burgeoning entertainment sector.

As the legal proceedings unfold, all eyes are on the Bombay High Court’s verdict, which will not only determine the fate of Killer Soup but also establish guidelines for navigating the delicate balance between artistic expression and trademark protection. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of safeguarding intellectual property rights in an increasingly competitive market.