BharatPe’s postpe makes trademark plea for the ‘Pe’ in PhonePe in Devanagari script

There is a new twist in the brand dispute between BharatPe and PhonePe. After BharatPe apparently won the battle in the English usage of the suffix “pe”, BharatPe’s Buy Now Pay Later offer postpe filed six cancellation suits on Tuesday against multiple registrations made by the competing service PhonePe of the “Pe” brand in the Devanagari script were held before the Intellectual Property Department of the Delhi High Court.

This marks a new chapter in a copyright battle that BharatPe and PhonePe have fought since 2019. Trickypedia was the first to report on it.

“The purity of the trademark register is in the greater interest of the general public. By adopting a trademark for the device brand ‘PE’ in Devanagari script in classes related to payment services in a country like India where Hindi is the main language of the masses, PhonePe has acted against the greater public interest and made Resilient (Resilient Innovations Pvt Limited, BharatPe’s holding company is keen to reverse this, ”a BharatPe spokesman said in a statement.

PhonePe declined to comment Trickypedia’s Interrogate.

BharatPe started postpe earlier this month, marking the company’s foray into the currently hot BNPL segment. As part of its offering, Postpe users can take advantage of an interest-free loan of up to Rs 10 lakh, and with the service, BharatPe aims to enable a $ 300 million loan book for Postpe in the first 12 months.

In September 2019, PhonePe abducted BharatPe in the Delhi High Court for using the “Pe” suffix. In April of that year, the court dismissed PhonePe’s plea to issue an injunction against BharatPe, ruling that the former’s claim that the suffix “Pe” in its mark had become distinctive to the extent that consumers Would invariably associate “Pe” with the company, a “matter of the court”.

PhonePe appealed the Delhi High Court order, only to withdraw it later.

“Although both the Delhi High Court and the Bombay High Court found PhonePe’s allegation prima facie false, Resilient has brought these termination actions to ensure a level playing field once and for all for everyone involved in the digital payments space.”, added the BharatPe spokesman.

The company also said it is taking this step because, while it has the resources to face PhonePe’s challenges, “the ‘aspiring entrepreneur’ could succumb to such pressures”.

Trickypedia was also the first to report that insuretech startup BimaPe, which recently renamed itself Verak, also faced legal challenges from a fintech company over its use of the Pe suffix, which was a primary reason for the renaming.

Leave a Comment