Trademark Infringement: Madras High Court Temporarily Restrains 'DigiPE' From Using Its Mark, Says Deceptively Similar To 'PhonePe'
The Madras High Court has temporarily restrained DigiPe Fintech Private Limited from using its mark 'DIGIPE' following a trademark infringement suit by popular digital payments company PhonePe.
Justice C Saravanan said the offending trademark 'DigiPE' is similar to the 'PhonePe' mark which stands registered in Class 9, 35, 36 and 42 by PhonePe Private Limited.
"Considering the fact that the respondents has not yet entered in the UPI business, the balance of convenience for grant of interim relief is in favour of the applicant/plaintiff," said the court.
PhonePe has been in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) business since 2016 and has been granted permission by the RBI for it. The permission was last renewed in August 2022 for a further period.
The court noted that when PhonePe had issued a legal notice to DigiPe, the company had said they are willing to come to a settlement. However, ignoring the same, they went ahead and filed an application for registration of the mark "DIGIPE" in September 2022.
The court said the interim relief shall be for a period of four weeks. List the case after four weeks for filing counter and for further orders, it added.
"The respondent/defendant will not suffer or incur loss if interim relief is granted as prayed. On the other hand, if no injunction is granted, the applicant may have to put up with the use of offending trademark "DIGIPE" which is deceptively similar to the marks “Phone Pe” registered in Clauses 9, 35, 36 and 42 by the applicant."
Case Title: PhonePe Private Limited v. DigiPe Fintech Private Limited
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 8