PayPal Levels Copyright Suit at PayTM

January 3, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

While PayTM has been on top of the Indian mobile payments world lately—the ongoing cash ban of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in India has delivered a lot of value for the company—it’s all but inevitable that into each life some rain must fall.

PayTM’s getting a little storm of its own right now as PayPal has leveled a copyright infringement suit against the company, suggesting that several cosmetic elements of PayTM’s operation look too much like the equivalent at PayPal.

PayPal filed the suit with the India Patent Office, noting that the color scheme and logos of the two companies were too similar, and that as a result customers could end up confused over which company they were dealing with at the time.

PayTM’s popularity has been on the rise of late, not only due to the cash ban in India but also thanks to things like an investment from Alibaba in China, which has given it some extra resources to work with.

Word out of PayPal’s lawsuit noted “There is no reason for PayTM to adopt the identical colors and color scheme other than to take advantage of the reputation PayPal has built up into this combination in connection with its popular services.”

It might sound like the worst sort of nitpicking, but looking at the two logos side by side does show some almost shocking similarities. Clearly there’s the fact that both start with “Pay”, but that by itself probably wouldn’t be enough fodder for anything more than a nuisance lawsuit, though I rush to point out that I am not a lawyer.

Looking at the nearly identical shades of blue used, and in the same proportions and locations, however, is a different matter. The two logos really do look similar except for clear differences in the font and the last syllable. I can’t say I’d ever mix the two up—the big “TM” at the end of PayTM suggests I’m not in fact dealing with PayPal—but some confusion might be on hand.

Still, in the end, this is a matter for courts to decide. Though there are quite a few similarities here aesthetically-speaking, it’s entirely possible that it may not be so cut-and-dried in the end.