22 November 2017Trademarks

PayPal and Pandora Media settle dispute over letter ‘P’

Online payment platform PayPal has settled its dispute over the letter ‘P’ with streaming service Pandora Media.

Back in May, WIPR reported that PayPal had claimed that Pandora had deliberately modelled its new logo on PayPal’s ‘P’ trademark.

PayPal accused the radio station of trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false designation of origin in a lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In October last year, Pandora launched its new logo—a ‘P’ in a single blue shade—which, according to PayPal, is in a similar block style font. Previously, Pandora used a single ‘P’ logo in a thinner font.

PayPal has used its logo, a double ‘P’ in a block style font in two shades of blue, since 2014.

The payment platform said: “The similarities between the logos are striking, obvious, and patently unlawful. Just like the PayPal logo, the Pandora logo is a capital P in block style, sans serif, with no counter, in the same deep-blue colour range.”

PayPal also alleged that Pandora had deserted its longstanding logo and “latched itself onto the PayPal logo”.

The claim also included screenshots from Twitter users who had commented on the alleged similarity between the logos.

Some Twitter users had claimed that they opened the wrong smartphone app, while others speculated whether PayPal had acquired Pandora.

“PayPal and Pandora directly compete for real estate on the screens of mobile devices. Having a distinctive, non-confusing logo is critical in the mobile space,” noted PayPal.

Fast-forward six months, and the parties have come to a settlement.

On Friday, November 17, PayPal and Pandora filed a stipulation of dismissal with the court, noting that they had signed a settlement agreement.

District Judge Richard Sullivan ordered the dismissal the same day.

A PayPal spokesperson said: “We have resolved this matter amicably.”

PayPal has also taken action to protect its IP in collaboration with e-commerce company eBay. In April 2016, we reported that the companies had recovered 13 confusingly similar domain names that had been registered by two entities based in Korea.

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