BharatPe and PhonePe Settle Long-Standing Trademark Dispute

Preeti Bali / 8:44 am / May 27, 2024

Fintech giants BharatPe and PhonePe have reached a mutual agreement to resolve all ongoing legal disputes concerning the usage of the suffix “Pe” in their respective trademarks. This amicable settlement brings an end to a five-year-long legal saga that saw both companies engage in court battles across various jurisdictions.

The terms of the settlement will effectively halt all active judicial proceedings. Both parties have already initiated the process of withdrawing their trademark opposition filings against each other. This paves the way for them to move forward with the individual registration of their trademarks. Additionally, BharatPe and PhonePe have pledged to undertake all necessary actions to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement in cases currently pending before the Delhi High Court and the Bombay High Court.

Positive Development for the Fintech Industry

Commenting on the resolution, Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of the Board at BharatPe, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome. He commended both entities for demonstrating “maturity and professionalism” in working towards a solution that effectively addresses all outstanding legal issues. He further emphasized the positive impact this settlement will have on the industry as a whole.

Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO of PhonePe, echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the benefits this agreement presents for both companies. He stated that this outcome will allow them to “move forward and focus our collective energy on growing the Indian fintech industry as a whole.”

Background of the Dispute

The dispute originated in 2019 when PhonePe accused BharatPe of infringing on their trademark rights by utilizing the “Pe” suffix in their app’s name, both in English and Hindi. PhonePe sought legal action against the Tiger Global-backed company, filing a lawsuit requesting an injunction order to prevent them from using the contested term.

This instance wasn’t an isolated one. The Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed several similar trademark disputes that were ultimately settled outside of court. Notable examples include PhonePe’s case against Indus OS, Khatabook versus Dukaan, versus Book Your Game, and Flipkart versus GOQii.


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