‘P’ problems spark PayPal trade mark action

Online payment service, used by millions worldwide, PayPal have taken trade mark action against Pandora Media, an internet radio station and streaming service in the US, after a change in their logo to a potentially infringingly similar ‘P’ mark to that of PayPal.

PayPal have a distinctive logo which consists of two ‘P’s, one in front of the other, in block typeface in two blue shades. They have used this logo since 2014 and have “achieved significant fame and consumer recognition”.

Up until October 2016, Pandora Media were also using a ‘P’ mark but this was in a narrower, more stylised font which did not resemble PayPal at all.

However, their new logo launched in October is now in the same block font as PayPal and is also in a shade of blue.

In PayPal’s claim for trade mark infringement and dilution, filed on 19th May 2017, they state “the similarities between the logos are striking, obvious, and patently unlawful”.

As evidence of confusion, PayPal have even included screenshots of social media activity of customers who are confusing the two businesses logo when selecting an app on their smartphone as well as enquiring as to whether the two companies are now linked.

It is of PayPal’s belief that the continuing use of the infringing logo will deceive customers into believing that PayPal are no longer focussed on payment services and are moving into a different sector.

The claim asks for an injunction to prevent any further use of the mark, and a force by the court to ensure the company takes steps to dispel any impressions created which are false. In addition, PayPal want damages and their legal fees.

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