Safaricom, Airtel to settle M-Pesa trademark dispute out of court – Mobile World Live

Safaricom, Airtel to settle M-Pesa trademark dispute out of court

24 JUN 2015

Safaricom and smaller rival Airtel Kenya agreed to end a trademark dispute relating to the M-Pesa logo, said the Daily Nation.

Earlier this month Safaricom, Kenya’s dominant operator, sued Airtel for using a trademark it claimed was identical to its M-Pesa logo.

This week the two operators told the High Court they wanted to settle the dispute out of court. The court barred Airtel from using the logo, pending the outcome of talks.

Safaricom claimed that Airtel was attempting to ride on the back of M-Pesa, its ubiquitous money service, in an attempt to attract interest to its much smaller competitor.

The larger operator wrote last month to Airtel, asking it to stop using its brand on advertising and other promotion material.

Airtel responded by denying any knowledge of the adverts but said it would  investigate and report back in four days but failed to do so. Instead Airtel wrote to Safaricom, seeking a meeting to discuss the best way forward. The larger operator argued this action proved that Airtel intended to misrepresent to consumers of competing mobile money services that the two rivals were co-operating, when they were not.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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