A major Australian financial services firm is suing U.S. blockchain company Ripple Labs over allegations of trademark infringement.
- In a court document filed Friday in the Federal Court of Australia New South Wales Registry, New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA) claims Ripple breached Australia's Trade Marks Act (1995) and the Australian Consumer Law with the unauthorized use of its brand and trademark "PayID."
- NPPA asserts the PayID brand was launched in Australia in February 2018 backed by an AU$3.3 million advertising campaign, and that it has worked since to develop the brand.
- However, in June NPPA CEO Adrian Lovney found Ripple had launched a similar PayID-branded service in Australia as part of its Open Payments Coalition (OPC) with 40 partners globally.
- Three out of the 40 companies in Ripple's OPC are based in Australia: FlashFX, BTC Markets and Independent Reserve, per the filing.
- Lovney claims there is evidence that the three exchanges "incorrectly believed" there was an association between services offered by the NPPA and those offered by Ripple under the PayID trademark.
- PayID is used by NPPA to identify the its service and the account proxies that form part of its inter-banking services.
- It enables customers to create their own unique identifier that can be linked with their financial institution by an email address, mobile number or Australian Business Number.
- NPPA said 5 million PayIDs had already been registered and that it already comprises an important part of Australia's NPP – a payments platform developed and operated by NPPA.
- Justice Stephen Burley ruled Friday that NPPA may serve Ripple notice outside of Australia.
- NPPA is a joint venture public company mutually owned by 13 of Australia's largest financial institutions including the Reserve Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank among others.