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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Fintech Unicorns BharatPe and PhonePe settle long-standing trademark dispute

The parties have already taken steps to withdraw all opposition against each other in the trademark registry, which will help them to proceed with the registration of their respective trademarks

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 27.05.24, 08:53 AM
Burying the hatchet.

Burying the hatchet. File Photo

BharatPe and PhonePe on Sunday announced that they have amicably settled all long-standing legal disputes pertaining to the use of the trademark with the suffix ‘Pe’.

Both the fintech groups said in a statement that the settlement will put an end to all open judicial proceedings. The unicorns have been locked in disputes across multiple courts over the last five years.

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The parties have already taken steps to withdraw all opposition against each other in the trademark registry, which will help them to proceed with the registration of their respective trademarks.

“This is a positive development for the industry. I appreciate the maturity and professionalism shown by the management of both sides, working closely to resolve all outstanding legal issues and moving ahead to focus their energy and resources in building robust digital payment ecosystems,” Rajnish Kumar, chairman of BharatPe, said.

“This outcome will benefit both companies to move forward and focus on growing the Indian fintech industry as a whole,” PhonePe founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said.

The legal dispute began in 2019 when PhonePe alleged that by using the trademark ‘BharatPe’ the latter had infringed upon the registered trademark ‘PhonePe’. Before initiating the suit, in August 2018, PhonePe had issued a cease and desist notice, calling upon BharatPe to stop using trademark ‘BharatPe’, with ‘Pe’ written in Devanagari (Hindi) script.

Subsequently, BharatPe had agreed to stop using ‘BharatPe’ with ‘Pe’ in Devanagari. It started using the mark ‘BharatPe’ for its services. In the suit filed before the Delhi High Court, PhonePe had pressed for grant of interim reliefs by alleging that the mark ‘BharatPe’ was deceptively similar to the registered trademark ‘PhonePe’.

After BharatPe had applied for the registration of its mark ‘postpe’ in April 2021, PhonePe had filed opposition proceedings in all applications filed by BharatPe before the Registrar of Trademarks for registration of the trademark ‘PostPe’ and ‘postpe’.

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