The Delhi HC recently refused to grant interim injunction to PhonePe, in the latter’s plea seeking permanent injunction against BharatPe for allegedly using the same suffix “Pe.”
Justice C Hari Shankar dismissed the application, stated that PhonePe cannot claim authority and ownership solely over the “Pe” suffix, as no infringement can be claimed on the basis of part of a registered trademark.
Senior Advocate Jayant Mehta appeared on behalf of PhonePe private limited whereas Senior Advocate Gaurav Pachnanda appeared for the defendants.
Statement of PhonePe:
PhonePe stated that their trademark and its variation was coined in 2015 and is being used by them since then. It was argued by them that “Pe” was an important part of their trademark, it was dominant and distinguished them. They further stated that they invented it.
Furthermore, it is stated that a rational consumer would notice the suffix “Pe.” They states that the defendant has copied their significant feature. It may lead into confusion amongst the consumers that the two are associated.
Statement of BharatPe:
The defendants argued that PhonePe was not registered proprietor or permitted user of the word “Pe” and stated that rights were acquired over “phonepe” and not the sole word “pe.”
The Court also noted that according to the legal position no exclusivity can be claimed over a descriptive mark, even by misspelling it.
The Court Prima Facie decides that PhonePe and BharatPe are both different and they cannot be separated and dissected into two words, such as “Phone” and “Pe.”