Pandora sued by PayPal for alleged ‘harmful’ logo infringement

Pandora has been through the mill of late.

It’s being toyed with as an on-then-off-then-on-again acquisition plaything by SiriusXM – after losing more than a third of a billion dollars in 2016.

In addition, its active user base shrunk by more than 2.5m people in Q1, despite the launch of its much-heralded new subscription tiers.

And now, it’s getting sued.

Online e-commerce giant PayPal has filed a lawsuit against Pandora in the Southern District of New York, accusing the streaming music company of “heinous” trademark infringement.

According to PayPal’s suit, Pandora’s new ‘P’ logo (pictured right) – unveiled in October last year – is too similar to PayPal’s own corporate identity.

PayPal goes so far as to accuse Pandora of deliberately copying elements of its own ‘P’-based badge (pictured, right), which has been in use since 2014.

PayPal’s suit, filed on May 19, claims: “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.”

The claim includes screenshots from Twitter users who have noted similar elements in the logos, in addition to claiming they have opened the wrong app as a result.

“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,” adds PayPal’s complaint, according to WIPR.

It then asserts that this ultra-competitive environment makes Pandora’s alleged infringement “especially egregious and harmful”.

PayPal is asking for a jury trial and for the court to stop Pandora using the logo again in future – in addition to damages and legal fees.

Pandora is currently trying to sell itself before June 8, with SiriusXM reportedly discussing a potential buyout with investment banks.Music Business Worldwide

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