Global payments major PayPal files complaint against registration of Paytm’s trademark, citing similarities 

Mumbai, December 16: After demonitisation the payments through digital wallets have got a new life. For such mobile wallets, the business turn over became double or triple when compared to earlier. Cashless life has become a habit of Indians with the use of mobile wallets. And Paytm has grown to a very large extend after the implementation of demonitisation in the country.

But now, the global payments major PayPal has filed a complaint against the registration of Paytm’s trademark. In a notice sent to them in connection with the local trademark office, falls under the ministry of commerce. The notice says that PayPal has pointed out that Paytm’s trademark is “deceptively and confusingly similar to PayPal” with a colour scheme with similarities.

“The first syllable in each mark is in dark blue colour and second syllable is in light blue colour. Further both marks begin with PAY’ which consumers tend to remember more than the second syllable, and the marks are of similar length.These similarities cause likelihood of confusion in the aggregate, specially considering the fame of the opponent’s (PayPal) earlier trademark,” the notice said.

“Further, both marks begin with the term ‘PAY’, which consumers tend to remember more than the second syllable and the marks are of similar length,” PayPal said.

The Noida-based Paytm had advertised its trademark registration in July, a mandatory step, after which anyone, if at all, gets a period of four months to raise objections. Rahul Dev, partner, Tech Corp Legal, said that the timing of PayPal’s notice is interesting since it was filed on the last day of the mandatory timeline. Paytm has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the government’s demonetisation plan announced over a month back.

It has seen a big jump in new users, transaction volumes due to the cash crunch. PayPal has mentioned in its notice that its brand name has been registered since 1999 across the globe. “It remains to be seen if the matter will reach the courts if they do not find a resolution through this process,” Dev said.

When contacted, both PayPal and Paytm spokespersons refused to comment on the matter.

Another prominent Indian tech company that has faced a similar complaint in the past is Zomato. The food-tech firm was earlier known as Foodiebay and rebranded itself six years ago when US e-tailer eBay Inc started legal proceedings against it for trademark violation.

Patent attorney and tech corporate lawyer Rahul Dev has raised doubts on PayPal’s intention behind this complaint.

“The fact that Paypal waited till the last day to file for opposition raises questions on the real motives behind Paypal’s move,” he wrote on his LinkedIn blog. “Additionally, Paypal’s global trademark had not even been registered in India until they took notice of Paytm’s application and post demonetization – raising questions on their focus on digital payments in the country.”