Saturday, 26 August 2017

India Post warns Paytm on use of ‘postcard’

India Post warns Paytm on use of ‘postcard’

BENGALURU: India Post has sent a notice to payments major Paytm, asking the company to stop using the term 'postcard' for one of its newly launched products.

TOI has reviewed the notice sent by the Department of Posts, which says that only India Post has the sole right to use the word 'postcard' under the IPO Act rules and regulations. During the festival of Raksha Bandhan, Paytm had launched Paytm Postcards — a digital version of gifting money during special occasions.

In the notice communicated to Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, India Post said that the company must desist use of the word postcard with immediate effect.

"It is hereby intimated that the use of word Postcard is the sole prerogative of India Post as per the IPO Act and established rules and regulations. Hence, the usage of the word Postcard is an infringement of the terms and conditions of the provisions of rules and guidelines," said the notice sent by Rahul Kaushik, assistant director general at India Post. When contacted, a spokesperson of Paytm did not comment on the matter. An email sent to India Post did not elicit any response.

This is perhaps the first time a government of India entity is challenging one of the leading startups in the country on brand infringement.

Paytm is the second most valued internet-based startup in India after Flipkart, which recently raised $1.4 billion from Japan's Soft-Bank. Previously, global payments major PayPal had challenged Paytm's trademark registration here, accusing the Noida-based company of copying design and colour scheme of the American company.

Paytm, however, was given the approval to register its trademark dismissing PayPal's claim by the government. According to sources, Paytm has not planned its course of action with this regard and is exploring possible arguments to the claims made by India Post.


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