PhonePe is again dissatisfied with another fintech product with the suffix “Pe” from one of its competitors, this time in the form of BharatPe’s recently announced “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) platform.
The Walmart-backed company filed a petition with the Bombay High Court alleging the postpe’s suffix is in violation of PhonePe’s trademark, sources directly informed of the matter said Trickypedia… According to these sources, however, the company has already withdrawn its petition.
“PhonePe withdrew the case to file a new petition sometime next week,” said one of the sources calling for anonymity.
In response to a detailed request, a PhonePe spokesman confirmed the development Trickypedia…
“During the hearing, the Hon’ble Court found that the PostPe brand adopted by Resilient Innovations was so sonically, structurally and visually similar to the PhonePe brand that it also thought PostPe / postpe was a natural evolution of the word PhonePe and from PhonePe, “said the spokesman.
The spokesman also said the court had withdrawn its lawsuit to address certain remarks made by the court but would soon file a new lawsuit.
This would be PhonePe’s second copyright challenge against BharatPe. This new petition was filed on October 20th where PhonePe is represented by lawyers from J Sagar Associates.
BharatPe did not respond to an immediate request for comment. We’ll update the story in case they answer.
According to the details on the High Court website, PhonePe is appealing to Resilient Innovations, the parent company of BharatPe, the Copyright Act and the Trade and Trade Merchandise Marks Act.
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 facilitate 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.
Corresponding Trickypedia‘S sources, Insuretech startup BimaPe, the renamed himself, as Verak was also challenged by a fintech company for using the Pe suffix, which was a major reason for the renaming. However, Trickypedia could not determine which company the lawsuit originated from.
Indian startups have not shied away from taking legal action against competitors for alleged trademark infringements. In February BigBasket had sent a cease and desist declaration to the small startup DailyBasket from Coimbatore because of the use of the term “basket” in its name.
In the past, companies like Flipkart and EaseMyTrip have been brought to justice, either because they own their own brand or because they sell products with a similar brand name to others.
To update: The story has been updated with the statement from PhonePe…