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Ripple faces legal action over the PayID brand in Australia

Open Payments Coalition led by Ripple is using the PayID brand can mislead consumers, NPPA claims

New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA) is suing US blockchain-focused firm Ripple Labs for ownership over the “PayID” brand, Decrypt reported today. The lawsuit, filed by NPPA at the Federal Court of Australia, has led to both parties contending over the trademark rights to the brand.

NPPA said in a statement that the lawsuit aims “to protect Australians from being misled by the launch in Australia of a cryptocurrency-based payment service using NPP Australia’s PayID service name and brand”.  The Australian firm has further claimed that it has owned the trademark to “PayID” since March 2017.

NPPA, mutually owned by 13 banks, including ANZ, Citi, HSBC, ING and the Reserve Bank of Australia, maintains a remittance network that enables customers to conduct real-time cross-bank transactions.  The eponymous addressing service uses a system of linking easy-to-remember pieces of information, such as phone numbers or email addresses, to a customer’s bank account and then providing them a PayID to make transactions.

Open Payments Coalition announced the launch of “an open-source solution to unite payments,” also called PayID on June 18th. The partnership involves 40 global companies including GoPay, Ripple, Blockchain.com, BitPay, Brave, Flutterwave, Mercy Corps and others.

Ripple can be deemed a leading player of the coalition based on Open Payments Coalition’s website, which states that: “The content on this website content was developed by Ripple, an early adopter of PayID, in collaboration with the Open Payments Coalition”.

“PayID brings together companies across all industries with an open solution for payments, marrying traditional finance, and the new world of fintech under one standard,“ Ripple said at the launch of the platform, adding that “PayID allows individuals to send and receive money across any payment network using an easy-to-read address versus one that’s awkward and unintuitive”.

NPPA has argued that two platforms, with the same name, both providing a unified ID to customers for conducting transactions will create confusion and mislead customers.

“The aim of this action is to protect Australian consumers and businesses from potential losses or scams that could arise as a result of confusion created from a payments service using the same name — particularly one that does not offer the same level of protection as the NPP’s PayID, including the backing of the Australian banking sector and an extensive consumer protection framework,” said NPPA.

The Australian company also stressed that its PayID is subjected to comprehensive governance and liability frameworks, as well as robust privacy and security controls.

Written By Harshini Nag

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