Madras HC Rejects PhonePe plea against DigiPe in Trademark Infringement case

PHONE PAY DIGI PAY law insider

LI Network

Published on: 25 August 2023 at 14:42 IST

The Madras High Court has dealt a blow to the payment platform PhonePe by dismissing its appeals against a single judge’s order that denied an interim injunction regarding the alleged trademark infringement by DigiPe.

The single judge had found that PhonePe had not established a prima facie case and had also failed to disclose significant details regarding the dismissal of similar applications in other High Courts.

The Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice PD Audikesavalu, who presided over the bench, criticized PhonePe for adopting inconsistent positions before different courts on similar matters.

The court noted that PhonePe had not originated the “Pe” mark and had even claimed that the distinctive “PhonePe” mark was coined by “CardPe” when dealing with the Delhi High Court.

The court highlighted, “On the given facts and circumstances of the case, it is difficult to reconcile the plaintiff’s stand taken before different courts. The stand taken before the Registrar of Trademark was absolutely different and not coherent with the stand taken in the present matter. The stand taken before the Delhi High Court while litigating against ‘BharatPe’ was also completely different.”

PhonePe had sought to prevent DigiPe from infringing on its registered trademark and copying the contents of its domain name.

The court found that the suffix “Pe” used by PhonePe was not unique and there were other trademarks using it.

Additionally, PhonePe had represented that its mark was distinct from existing marks when registering it.

The court also observed that the areas of operation of both parties were different, with PhonePe serving various payment instruments and providing services to businesses, while DigiPe focused solely on merchant establishments.

Consequently, the Madras High Court upheld the single judge’s decision, indicating that the matter should be decided based on evidence presented during trial and not be influenced by the current observations.

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