American digital payments giant PayPal files trademark infringement complaint against Paytm

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Global digital payments major PayPal has filed a complaint against its Indian counterpart Paytm, stating that the latter has stolen their logo and copied the aesthetics of the same while designing theirs. This development was first reported by TOI.

In a complaint filed with the local trademark office, PayPal has specifically pointed out that Paytm’s branding has a striking resemblance to their own logo design. The former has been using a two-tone blue color theme to define their business for the past ten years, and have even trademarked it. Thus, the American giant states that the Alibaba-backed Indian startup’s trademark is “deceptively and confusingly similar to PayPal.” 

The masses across the globe have come to recognize PayPal, thanks to its dual tone color scheme and design aesthetics. And the company is now of the opinion that Paytm has slavishly adopted their trademark in its entirety to take advantage of their fame and recognition in the market (else why would they copy the aesthetics and not even change the color scheme to differentiate themselves). Also, the two businesses operate in a similar domain, which is focused on digital payments through the interwebs. With regard to same, the complaint filing reads:

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 trade mark.

Further, PayPal states that it has been using its trademark across several countries (each of which has been named in the complaint) since 1999. And the Indian digital payments is currently in the process of filing for its trademark in the country. According to mandatory laws in the country, a company is required to advertise its trademark registration and anyone in opposition of the same has a period of four months to file an objection. Paytm has done the same in July and PayPal waited until the last day of the timeline to file their complaint.

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In my opinion, PayPal might have ignored the Indian digital payments service if it hadn’t gained immense recognition post PM Modi’s move to scrap high denomination notes in the country. This landmark move has enabled these businesses to witness a huge uptick in user base & transaction, who’re now running at twenty times the total traffic they used to operate at.

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