The Walmart-funded PhonePe and Sequoia-backed BharatPe have been fighting since 2018 over the word "Pe", pronounced Pay in both Hindi and English. After the Delhi Court dismissed the appeal by PhonePe claiming BharatPe infringed on their trademark right, PhonePe has withdrawn its injunction plea.
As per the Economic Times report, PhonePe has told the court it does not wish to press the present appeal on injunction but wants an “expeditious disposal of the suit”.
What is the matter
Two years ago, PhonePe had accused BharatPe of copying the former’s distinctive and essential ‘Pe’ to create confusion in the mind of the consumer.
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What does the court order say
Slugging it out for two years, the Delhi High Court’s division bench said, “We dispose of the present appeal by directing the learned single judge to expedite the hearing and disposal of the suit. We further direct that none of the parties shall unnecessarily take an adjournment in the proceedings before the learned single judge”.
The warring parties
BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover claimed PhonePe’s case was “never a case on merit” and that the order was well-reasoned. He also urged Sameer Nigam, PhonePe co-founder, to build rather than fight.
PhonePe’s spokesperson in turn said the court has “simply directed an expedient trial hearing of our lawsuit where the main matter will finally be settled”. The case has merit as the court has directed that the matter needs to be heard on merit at a trial. We have asked for a speedy trial.
The business model
While PhonePe offers its services to both merchants and consumers, BharatPe caters exclusively to merchants. Simply put, both compete when it comes to merchant’s business payments on the Unified Payments Interface platform (UPI).
(Edited by: By Jomy Jos Pullokaran)