PhonePe had filed a lawsuit against BharatPe claiming trademark rights over the suffix and that full trial is still going on
Walmart-owned digital payments firm PhonePe
has approached the Bombay High Court seeking an injunction to restrain its rival Resilient Innovations (BharatPe) from misusing PhonePe's registered trademarks by using and promoting the marks 'PostPe' / 'postpe'.
“During the hearing, the Hon'ble Court observed that the mark PostPe adopted by Resilient Innovations is so phonetically, structurally and visually similar to PhonePe
mark that he also thought that PostPe/postpe is a natural evolution of the word PhonePe
and emanated from PhonePe,” said PhonePe spokesperson in response to a query on Friday.
However, to address certain observations made by the Court in the pleadings filed by PhonePe, the Suit was withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh Suit challenging the adoption of mark PostPe/postpe by Resilient Innovations.
“Accordingly, while allowing the withdrawal of the Suit and keeping the rights and contentions of the parties open, the Hon'ble Court granted PhonePe the liberty to file a fresh Suit. We will, accordingly, file a fresh suit and continue to ardently oppose the use of the 'PostPe' / 'postpe' marks,” said the phonepe spokesperson.
“We do not want to comment on any part of yesterday’s proceedings in the Bombay High Court that have not been recorded in the order passed. In order to maintain the dignity of the legal process, we would await receipt of the order passed by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court yesterday before embarking on a publicity stunt like PhonePe has indulged in, " said a BharatPe
spokesperson on Saturday. "The bottom line remains that PhonePe has withdrawn the suit it filed against our use of postpe. Needless to say, we will continue to strongly defend any legal action that PhonePe threatens to institute against us. What is important to note is that in the Bombay High Court yesterday, PhonePe turned turtle as regards it’s previous stand before the Delhi High Court of emphasising on its so-called inventive word 'Pe'.”
This month, BharatPe, one of the fast-growing fintech companies
in India, announced its entry into the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) category with the launch of its product- ‘postpe’. Postpe provides credit to customers to buy now and pay later, for anything, and from anywhere.
Customers can download the postpe app from Play Store and avail interest-free credit limit of up to Rs 10 lakh. The firm said postpe is a first-of-its-kind BNPL product that is not limited to big-ticket purchases but can also be used for micro-purchases. BharatPe
aims to facilitate a loan book of $300 million on postpe in the first 12 months, for its lending partners.
“Our aim with postpe is to make EMI and credit available for everyday purchases. ‘Golgappa’ on EMI as well as ‘iPhone’ on EMI is our motto,” Ashneer Grover, Co-Founder and Managing Director, BharatPe
had said during the launch. “We find the current BNPL plays in Indian market suboptimal, trying to copy the west for online checkouts, whereas the true market in India is offline. Postpe will be the leader in BNPL space in India by virtue of being no cost to merchants and universal acceptance.”
In June this year, PhonePe and BharatPe went for a full trial over the use of the word ‘Pe’ (pronounced as pay and means ‘on’ in Hindi) after nearly two years of court proceedings. PhonePe had filed a lawsuit against BharatPe claiming trademark rights over the suffix and that full trial is still going on. At that point also it had withdrawn the injunction plea in the Delhi High Court and instead sought quick disposal of the main lawsuit.
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