Multinational payments giant PayPal is attempting to block Indian mobile payment company Paytm from registering its trademark, claiming its logo and start of its name infringe PayPal’s IP as they are too similar and could “confuse” potential customers.
PayPal filed a letter of objection with the Indian Patent Office in mid-November in response to Paytm’s attempt to protect its own branding.
According to the document, published last week by law firm Tech Corp Legal, PayPal opposes the trademark registration on the grounds it is: “Deceptively and confusingly similar” to one of its trademarks, citing the use of two-tone blue colour and the fact the first section of the name is ‘Pay’.
The claim states: “There is no reason for the applicant (Paytm’s parent company) to adopt the identical colours and colour scheme other than to take advantage of the reputation the Opponent (PayPal) has built up into this combination in connection with its popular services.”
Paytm counts Chinese online payment firm Alibaba as a financial backer and is one of India’s largest mobile payment companies with 100 million users, according to company information. The company initially provided mobile top-up and bill payment services.
In August 2015 it received a provisional licence to provide a payments bank service by the Reserve Bank of India, which was due to launch this year. In June, the company’s founder was reportedly targeting the opening of 200 million accounts in the first year of operation. Licenses were also granted to rival companies Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel.
PayPal’s statement to the Patent Office explains the company began using its name in 1999 and signed up its first customers in India during 2000. The company added its two-tone blue design is registered internationally and was first used in 2007.