Results for Trade Marks - Paypal

The Answer

Yes, the Australian Trade Marks Office found that the Paypal trade marks had acquired a significant reputation and it was likely that the consumers would be deceived or confused by the FinPal mark when applied to similar goods and services.

In 2018, Paypal Inc. opposed a trade mark application filed in the name of Finpal Pty Ltd, nominating a number of grounds of opposition under the Trade Marks Act 1995. In particular, Paypal Inc. claimed that the “FinPal” trade mark was similar to the suite of “Paypal” marks that had acquired a reputation in the financial services market.

The Delegate of the Registrar of Trade Marks heard that Paypal had used its trade marks in Australia since at least 2000, and that:

  • At the end of 2015, there were over 48 million Paypal user accounts registered in Australia;

  • During the five year period between 2011 to 2015 there were over 750 million transactions conducted by Australian Paypal users; and

  • The total payment volume conducted via Paypal users in Australia was in the tens of billions.

The Delegate was satisfied that this evidence established a significant market reputation in the PayPal trade marks prior to the lodgement date of the FinPal trade mark. Importantly, it was also observed that the similarities in stylisation and pronunciation of the marks – particularly the use of the arbitrary syllable ‘Pal’ – together with the nexus between the financial services offered by the respective parties added to the likely confusion for consumers. Accordingly, the FinPal trade marks were refused registration.