Madras HC Temporarily Restrains MobilePe from Offering UPI/BHIM Services in TM Lawsuit

In a Trademark Infringement lawsuit filed by PhonePe (the Indian digital payments and financial technology company headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka), the Commercial Division of Madras High Court (HC) temporarily restrained MobilePe from offering any BHIM or UPI services.

After prima facie satisfaction that a case of deception has been made out by PhonePe, which is in a similar business line, Justice M. Sundar passed the interim order. The Madras HC said that in place of performing a side-by-side comparison, it stepped into the shoes of an average man with imperfect recollection and ordinary prudence and found a prima facie lawsuit of deception against MobilePe.

Additionally, the Madras HC noted that a possible irreparable legal injury aspect qua ‘Payments and Financial Services’ [‘UPI’ and ‘BHIM’] was also made out, which moved the aspect of the balance of convenience towards the grant of limited order of status quo as alluded to supra. Therefore, prima facie case, the balance of convenience and irreparable legal injury parameters impelled the Commercial Division of the Madras HC to grant the said limited order of status quo as of now.

The applicant/plaintiff in the said case, i.e., PhonePe, submitted evidence concerning it being the registrant or proprietor of the mark. It had even sent a Cease and Desist Notice to the defendant previously, which was followed by a reply, rejoinder, and surrejoinder. The plaintiff, after the surrejoinder, was made to believe that the defendant company, i.e., MobilePe, would not move ahead with its Trademark Application; however, on 29th August 2022, the plaintiff got to know that the defendant’s trademark application was approved.

After hearing the parties involved, the Madras HC got convinced that “contemplation of urgent interim relief” was made out under Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act. However, the Madras HC made it crystal clear that MobilePe and its related companies can very well continue with all other business activities currently carried out by them, such as wallet recharge services. For more visit:

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