The Delhi High Court had rejected PhonePe’s assertion of exclusivity over the word “PE” at the interim stage.
Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd.(BharatPe), the company that has recently launched a “buy now pay later” app under the trade mark “postpe”, has filed six cancellation actions against multiple registrations held by PhonePe Pvt Ltd. for the “PE” device mark in Devanagari Script before the Intellectual Property Division of the Delhi High Court through its counsels SIM AND SAN, Attorneys at Law.
Stated a spokesperson from Resilient Innovations (BharatPe), “Purity of the trademarks register is in the larger interest of the public at large. By taking on a trade mark for the “PE” device mark in Devanagari Script in classes relating to payment services in a country like India, where Hindi is the primary language of the masses, PhonePe has acted against the larger public interest, and Resilient is committed to undoing this.”
The spokesperson added “PhonePe has been asserting its registration for the “PE” device mark in Devanagari Script as being equivalent to the English word “Pe” / “Pay”.This was the same position taken by PhonePe in a recent case filed by it before the Bombay High Court against Resilient’s use of the mark “postpe”, which stands withdrawn at present. Even though both the Delhi High Court and the Bombay High Court have prima facie found PhonePe’s assertion to be incorrect, Resilient has filed these cancellation actions so as to provide a level-playing field to all stakeholders in the digital payment space once and for all.”
Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court had rejected PhonePe’s assertion of exclusivity over the word “PE” at the interim stage. Very recently, even the Bombay High Court rejected PhonePe’s assertion of exclusivity over the word “PE” at the interim stage. Both Courts noted that the word “PE” was prima facie incapable of protection as a trade mark standalone.
Resilient’s spokesperson added “While the home-grown Resilient may have the fire-power, muscle-power and motivation to tackle foreign-funded entities like PhonePe, the ‘emerging entrepreneur’ may succumb to such pressure. In order to protect such bonafide players in the market, Resilient decided to nip the issue at the bud by filing these cancellation actions. Currently, Resilient is aware of more than ten digital payment products in the market in India, a number that is ever-growing. It is desirable to promote healthy competition in this space, and not merely look at personal gains, which has become the second nature of companies like PhonePe.”
“We hope that PhonePe would at least now get a reality check, and put an end to its ill-conceived and ill-motivated agenda in the Indian market.”
Source: Business World