The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea by Resilient innovations Ltd, which operates BharatPe. Resilient innovations had filed Special Leave Petition (SLP) against a Bombay high court order, which has now been dismissed.
In March, the Bombay High Court had allowed fintech firm PhonePe to file a fresh suit against BharatPe's Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform PostPe for trademark infringement. Resilient innovations had filed a SLP against the Bombay High Court order.
The HC order, given in March, had upheld an earlier decision that granted leave to PhonePe to withdraw its original lawsuit and file a fresh one. This was also challenged before a division bench but the court refused to interfere, according to LiveLaw.
Initially, PhonePe had approached the Bombay High Court seeking an injunction to restrain Resilient Innovations, which operates BharatPe, from misusing PhonePe's registered trademarks by using and promoting the marks 'PostPe'/'postpe', PhonePe had explained in a statement.
"During the hearing, the Court observed that the mark PostPe adopted by Resilient Innovations is so phonetically, structurally and visually similar to PhonePe mark that it also thought that PostPe/postpe is a natural evolution of the word PhonePe and emanated from PhonePe," the statement added.
"However, to address certain observations made by the Court in the pleadings filed by PhonePe, the suit was withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh suit challenging the adoption of mark PostPe/postpe by Resilient Innovations," PhonePe said.
It added that while allowing the withdrawal of the suit and keeping the rights and contentions of the parties open, the Court granted PhonePe the liberty to file a fresh suit. "We will, accordingly, file a fresh suit and continue to ardently oppose the use of the 'PostPe'/'postpe' marks," PhonePe noted.
Meanwhile, BharatPe spokesperson has said that the petition before the Supreme Court was on a question of law pertaining to the withdrawal of suits and not on the merits of PhonePe's trademark infringement claim.
"The Supreme Court was of the opinion that since the Single Judges order of the Bombay High Court adequately protects the interest of Resilient, it was not necessary to adjudicate on the question of law raised in the petition. We are committed to defending any claim for trademark infringement which may be brought by PhonePe before the Hon'ble Bombay High Court or any forum," the spokesperson added.
In October 2021, PhonePe had withdrawn its petition against Postpe platform which had alleged violation of PhonePe's trademark and had said that it will file a fresh suit.
(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur & agencies)
(The story has been updated with BharatPe's statement on the matter.)
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