EU Intellectual Property Office opens investigation into “ViberPay” trademark dispute

9 august 2022

Japanese conglomerate Rakuten is facing a further setback in its plan to launch payments on its Viber messaging app under the “Viber Pay” brand after the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) accepted an application to have its trademark invalidated, AltFi can exclusively reveal.

The application was made by UK fintech VibePay, whose CEO and founder Luke Massie is fighting to defend his trademark “VibePay” against confusion with Rakuten’s “Viber Pay”.

Massie’s lawyers last week sent Viber a cease and desist calling on the subsidiary of Rakuten to immediately stop using the “Viber Pay” brand, as well as filing paperwork to have the trademark removed.

Now that the EU’s IPO has accepted Massie’s request for invalidity, Rakuten has until 6 October to respond with evidence that defends its trademark.

It’s not the first time VibePay has been forced to defend its brand.

In 2021 VibePay took legal action against Klarna’s plans to launch its Vibe rewards programme here in the UK, which eventually resulted in the buy now pay later giant dropping the brand name.

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Mihai Draghici – CEO PayByFace

„Dupa ce oamenii creeaza un cont PayByFace si au adaugat cardul, selfi-ul si PIN-ul, si au avut un pic de curaj sa se duca sa incerce, daca au incercat o data plata prin recunoastere faciala nu mai folosesc altceva (n.r. ca modalitate de plata). 80% dintre ei numai asta folosesc. Le place la nebunie.” 

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In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?