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PayPal peed off about Pandora's 'P' being mistaken for its 'PP'

PayPal says Pandora can't make cash without cashing in on its fame

By Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2017

LOGOWATCH LEGAL PayPal has filed a lawsuit against streaming music service Pandora, alleging that the latter's stylised single “P” logo is so similar to the payment company's “PP” logo that it's designed to get punters confusing the two.

In a brief filed last week in the United States District Court, PayPal argues that “Pandora’s recent adoption of a new 'P' logo, which is unlawfully similar to PayPal’s logo, threatens the interests of PayPal’s customers and disrupts their user experience. PayPal brings this action to remedy the harm Pandora is causing to the PayPal user experience and the PayPal brand.”

Pandora launched its new logo in October 2016, claiming that the “P” does all of the below:

Our dynamic brand is composed of form, color and pattern, which we implemented into the new P icon and serves as your portal into the unique and diverse range of music you love.

No, we don't know what that means either.

PayPal thinks it does: its filing suggests that Pandora's P is all about trying to borrow some of PayPal's brand because the music streaming service is a dead man walking. Here's PayPal's argument:

As a streaming music service known mostly for its free-to-consumers version, Pandora has no obvious path to profitability. It also faces overwhelming competition from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and other successful streaming platforms. It was against this backdrop that Pandora deserted its longstanding logo and latched itself on to the increasingly popular PayPal Logo as part of its efforts to catch up to its competition.

PayPal also alleges that “the Pandora Logo is causing the status of the PayPal Logo as a unique identifier of the PayPal brand to be blurred.” And it's not happy about that blurring because the company has spent years trying to convince consumers that its “PP” logo is the thing to look for when they want to pay for stuff online.

To prove its point, PayPal's complaint cites Tweets commenting on the similarity between the two logos as evidence of “the impact on their user experience since the launch of the Pandora Logo last fall.”

The document also states that PayPal has corresponded with Pandora about the logos, but that Pandora has done nothing in response. Hence the filing, a demand for a jury trial to consider trademark infringement and dilution, plus and a request that Pandora be forced to find itself a new logo that looks nothing like PayPal's. The payments company also wants punitive damages and court costs.

The Register will keep an eye on the case if it makes it to court. m.reg readers can find the logos here. ®

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