15 October 2020TrademarksRory O'Neill

Visa target accused of ‘duping’ customers with bank logos

Canada-based TD Bank is suing Plaid, a financial services company set to be acquired by Visa, accusing it of duping customers into entering their financial details using TD’s trademarks.

According to the suit, filed Wednesday, October 14, Plaid created a user interface that copies TD’s trademarks in order to replicate the bank’s genuine login page.

TD said that customers believe they are entering personal and financial information into the bank’s secure platform, but in reality, “consumers are unwittingly giving their login credentials to [Plaid]”.

Plaid then takes the information, stores it on its servers, and uses it to “mine consumers’ bank records for valuable data”, such as transaction histories, which it sells to third parties, the suit alleged.

In January 2020, Visa announced a deal to buy Plaid for $5.3 billion, which is still pending. WIPR has contacted both Visa and Plaid for comment in response to the allegations.

Plaid’s financial technology platform allows applications, such as PayPal’s mobile payment tool Venmo, to connect to users’ bank accounts.

But this risks duping customers into thinking they are communicating only with their bank, TD argued.

“Once a consumer using Venmo selects TD Bank, the consumer is presented with a ‘credential’ screen, which purposefully imitates the look and feel of TD’s login page and prompts consumers to enter their user name and password,” the complaint said.

A 2018 blog post on Plaid’s website, about its Link tool, describes how the company had been working on “adding branding elements for more of our supported institutions”.

This means you’ll see logos and brand colors for even more institutions in Link so that end-users feel a greater sense of security and familiarity when they recognize their institution’s look-and-feel”.

TD Bank contacted Plaid in April, demanding that it stop using TD branding, but the fintech company refused, the suit said.

Plaid is already facing a class action suit, filed in May, accusing it of fraudulently collecting and monetising consumers’ financial details.

TD has asked the court to issue an injunction blocking Plaid from using the Canadian bank’s branding, and award treble damages for the alleged trademark infringement.

A spokesperson from Plaid said: "We were surprised by TD Bank’s decision to file suit in the midst of our good faith discussions, which are still ongoing. Plaid enables consumers to connect their own bank accounts to the fintech apps they choose. Plaid is not using TD Bank’s trademarks in an unfair way. Plaid's role and involvement are made clear and our flow helps consumers ensure they select the right account to link to their apps. We have been working with TD for quite some time, and are disappointed that they resorted to litigation and false allegations. Plaid is publicly known for never selling or renting consumers’ personal information. With people relying on fintech now more than ever, and governments advancing open banking in the US and Canada, we take seriously our obligation to help people control their finances and choose the services they want."

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox

Today’s top stories

EUIPO triumphs in trademark battle at EU General Court

France jurisdiction report: Shopping around for clarity

UK patent litigation: dawn of a new age?

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

28 August 2019   The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore has granted an artificial intelligence-based patent to Alibaba in a “record” time of three months.
2 April 2020   The head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s IP disputes group has rejoined Allen & Overy in New York, five years after leaving the firm.