Ed Lea (pictured), the founder of Paddle, has described the case brought by rival Ensygnia for alleged patent infringement as being “without merit”, a further move in the legal battle between two of the UK’s most promising mobile payments startups.
“We have spent a significant amount of time and effort understanding exactly what Ensygnia have patented and compared that to the way we designed and built Paddle. As such, we are confident that their claims are without merit”, said Lea in a statement sent to Mobile World Live.
Lea’s comments follow the news earlier in the week that Ensygnia had initiated legal action, first reported by Techcrunch.
The two companies have developed similar technology – at least from a user’s perspective – that enables a user with a smartphone to scan and make e-commerce transactions on a website accessed from the desktop.
“Unfortunately, Ensygnia have only ever engaged in this matter from the premise that we infringe (which of course we strongly dispute and deny) and employed one of the most expensive law firms in London to frame those conversations,” said Lea’s statement.
Ensygnia and Paddle are among the most prominent startups in the country targeting payments and money, and have both been interviewed by Mobile World Live.
“It worries us to see a British start-up, backed by Telefonica, behave in this way. Our concern is that backing down and being intimidated would be unjust and set a dangerous precedent for the whole of the UK start-up community. It is disheartening to be spending our limited resources on legal services but we feel that we’ve been given no alternative.”
Ensygnia is backed by Wayra, Telefonica’s business accelerator.
Earlier in the week, Ensygnia said it had tried “many times” to reach a settlement with Paddle. The firm had offered to appoint an independent auditor to determine fair licensing fees given both are start-ups.
“Paddle originally indicated they considered this a sensible way forward but subsequently changed their minds,” said Ensygnia. In the absence of an agreement, the firm felt it had no alternative but to take the matter to the courts.