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Madras High Court forbids MobilePe from providing UPI and BHIM services

Madras High Court temporarily prohibited digital app MobilePe and its group firms from providing Unified Payments Interface and Bharat Interface for Money services. The two apps logos were identical.

Justice M. Sundar found that a prima facie case of “potential deceit” had been established in an interim decision issued. The court also referred to case, “Parle Products (P) Ltd v. JP and Co.”, where it was stated to indicate that it would avoid comparing the two brands side by side. Instead, it said that a person of “average intelligence” would recognise the similarities between the emblems of PhonePe and MobilePe if they were to put themselves in their shoes.

It was argued that the eight legal use certificates make reference to classes found in the “International Classification of Goods and Services”. This Court was made aware of Sections 7 and 8 of  The Trade Marks Act, 1999 (47 of 1999), which refer to the Trade Marks Registrar’s classification of products and services and the publication of an alphabetical index, respectively. It must be studied in conjunction with the Trade Marks Rules, 2002.

“The Commercial Division compared the two marks using the Parle approach, which was established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. This concept calls for avoiding side-by-side comparisons and placing yourself in the position of a man of average intelligence with common sense but an imperfect memory.”

In order to remove the MobilePe app’s listing from the Google Play Store and the App Store, respectively, it also sent notices to Google and Apple.

The Court found a cause for urgent interim relief within the meaning of Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act was prima facie made out in light. However,  also stated that MobilePe’s rights, as well as those of the other defendants included in the lawsuit, were safeguarded with regard to raising objections. Additionally, it stated MobilePe may continue to engage in business operations other than those involving UPI and BHIM services.

“Therefore, Commercial Division has been compelled to grant this limited order of status as of due to the criteria of the prima facie case, balance of convenience, and irreparable legal loss.

For the sake of clarity, it is made clear that this interim order of status will not prevent the defendants from continuing with any other business operations they are currently conducting with the aforementioned competing marks, which can be broadly referred to as “wallet recharge.” The order given by the court.

Ahir Mitra
Ahir Mitra

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