The Indian startup ecosystem has seen several high profile cases of trademark infringement in the past two years. Right from Flipkart, to Paytm, Bigbasket, and EaseMyTrip, these firms have been dragged to court either for running a private label or products with a similar brand name to others.
While the companies above have managed to settle their respective cases, another case of trademark infringement has been registered in Delhi High Court, where two leading players in the merchant UPI ecosystem are at loggerheads.
According to a TOI report, PhonePe has accused BharatPe of illegal usage of ‘Pe’ as a suffix in its app in English as well as in Hindi.
Claiming trademark rights over the name, PhonePe has also sought an injunction order in a lawsuit against BharatPe. In this case, senior advocate Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal, who is representing PhonePe, demanded an injunction restraining infringement of trademark, passing off, and damages.
However, the court did not grant an injunction on PhonePe’s original appeal. The matter will be heard on October 9.
This is not the first instance where both companies are locking horn against each other. Previously, PhonePe had sent legal notice to Sequoia-backed company over the logo.
According to PhonePe, protection of its brand, which is valued over $7 billion, is utmost important. BharatPe has not released any official statement on the matter.
Since the matter is sub judice, any assumption regarding the case would be unfair.
A year-old startup, BharatPe has emerged as one of the fastest-growing fintech company focusing on offline merchants and retailers, a territory where PhonePe and Paytm have sheer domination. The Ashneer Grover-led company does around 20 million peer-to-merchant transactions per month and targeting 30 million transactions every month by Diwali.