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PHONEPE VS BHARATPE: The final Judgement

BharatPe and PhonePe, the two digital payment applications in India have been battling in Delhi High Court for trademark rights of their name since 2018. Let’s check out the complete case of BharatPe and PhonePe and the final judgement.


PhonePe and BharatPe are the companies which provide digital payment services. Where BharatPe offers their types of assistance just for the merchants and focuses majorly on that area, PhonePe accommodates both consumers. Any individual who downloads the application can utilize PhonePe's services.

PhonePe has been progressively growing towards the vendor payment area and BharatPe can be viewed as one of their significant rivals in the field. BharatPe has affirmed that they have around 1.5 million vendors on their foundation with an every day exchange of around INR 7 lakhs and PhonePe for business has around 4.2 million traders utilizing it effectively. Both the organizations are viewed as growing forcefully on-boarding disconnected vendors.

The two major digital payment applications have been said to have battled about the use of the suffix “Pe” in their names and Flipkart owned PhonePe has been asserting trademark rights over it. It is seen that both the organizations have been quarreling since the year 2018 and later the Bengaluru based startup PhonePe has been said to have sent a legal notification to BharatPe last year. The organization had soon changed the logo and the shade of their original frame. However that didn't address the issue and PhonePe had taken the case to the court. Earlier, PhonePe approached the Bombay HC seeking an injunction to restrain Resilient Innovations from misusing PhonePe's registered trademarks by using the word ‘Pe’ and withdrew the injunction later to address certain observations made by the Court. The company added that it intends to follow up by filing a fresh suit which it was allowed by the Court. Then it filed a suit on BharatPe for using the suffix Pe in both the dialects English just as Hindi and furthermore both in graphic design just as text.


The case was taken over by Justice C. Harishankar. He had conveyed that the utilization of the word Pe in both the organization's names was only an alternate spelling used to signify the word pay and added that no privileges can be asserted over an imprint which depicts a word or even a word which is utilized to portray a part by misspelling it.

The court likewise added that the word Pe had not inferred any other meaning other than pay. That is the company has not made an alternate impact on the minds of individuals like giving the word Pe a secondary meaning which refers to the products or services given by the company.

However, the Justice had conveyed that if the word Pe has acquired a secondary meaning, the court would search for a preliminary and the company will have to prove the court that the word has an secondary meaning and the primary meaning i.e., pay should have been completely removed from the minds of their consumers. To move forward with this, the organization will have to make proof from their clients that the word has a total optional meaning which is identified with the products or services they offer.

The Court had said that considering the above factors both PhonePe and BharatPe are comprised of several sections and added that these parts can't be isolated as Phone and Pe and Bharat and Pe. The court passed that the company PhonePe can't guarantee rights over the word Pe.

It also added that the word Pe gives the meaning of the service given by both the organizations that pay and said that by misspelling Pay as Pe, there can't be any case on the legal positions.


Gauri Khanna


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