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Delhi HC dismisses BharatPe pleas seeking removal of PhonePe trademarks

Petitions were frivolous and baseless, and an attempt to divertthe court's attention from its own misuse of PhonePe's trade marks, says Walmart-owned digital payments firm

PhonePe

Walmart-owned digital payments firm PhonePe on Friday said that the Delhi High Court has dismissed the petitions filed by Resilient Innovations (BharatPe) seeking cancellation and removal of entries pertaining to some of PhonePe’s registered trademarks from the Register of Trade Marks.

"These petitions were frivolous and baseless and nothing more than a poor attempt to divert the court’s attention from its own misuse and infringement of PhonePe’s trademarks," said PhonePe.

Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd (owner and user of the 'BharatPe' and 'PostPe' marks) recently filed six different petitions before the Delhi High Court seeking cancellation and removal of the entry pertaining to some of PhonePe’s registered trademarks from the Register of Trade Marks, wherein it also sought interim relief against use of such registered trademarks of PhonePe. These petitions were listed today before the Delhi High Court for the first time yesterday. The judge has recorded the arguments of the counsels and dismissed the petition with the pending applications.

Being in the same line of business, PhonePe said it is imperative that the earlier use and substantive meaning acquired by Pe in PhonePe is accepted and cannibalizing PhonePe’s large customer base by deceptively similar marks and infringement be stopped immediately. The firm said the lack of propriety in the conduct of Resilient Innovations has been acknowledged by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. "We will continue to earnestly press the other matters filed by us before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court and the Hon’ble Bombay High Court against Resilient Innovations’ dishonest adoption of the ‘BharatPe’ and ‘PostPe’ marks to create brand confusion in the Digital Payments category and take all steps necessary to protect the value of our brand," said PhonePe.

Last month, BharatPe  approached the Delhi High Court with six cancellation actions against multiple registrations held by PhonePe Pvt, its rival owned by USA’s Walmart, for the “PE” device mark in Devanagari script. BharatPe had recently launched a “buy now pay later” app under the trademark “postpe”. “Purity of the trademarks register is in the larger interest of the public at large,” a spokesperson from Resilient Innovations (BharatPe) had said “By taking on a trademark 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.”

“Contrary to PhonePe’s statement, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court has not held the cancellation actions to be “frivolous or baseless”. As a matter of fact, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court has not said anything on the merits of the cancellation actions. On a procedural aspect, the Hon’ble Court has only directed Resilient to adopt a different route to file these cancellation actions, and Resilient is exploring its legal remedies in this regard," said BharatPe spokesperson on Friday evening. 

"It is again unfortunate that PhonePe has misquoted from the order of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court as regards the conduct of Resilient. Nowhere the court has given any view on the merit or said that PhonePe’s right on Pe cannot be challenged.  We are committed to taking all steps available in law to pursue our cancellation actions against the registrations obtained by PhonePe for the device mark of “PE” in Devanagari script, which have so far been unsuccessfully asserted by PhonePe against Resilient before various courts and forums.”