Payment processor PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) on Friday filed a lawsuit against Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) in federal court claiming trademark infringement and trademark dilution resulting from Pandora’s refreshed logo. PayPal states that confusion over the logos could cause it to lose customers.
Pandora’s logo change was announced in October of last year to coincide with the launch of the company’s Pandora Plus subscription service.
At the time, a report at Wired noted the design similarity with the PayPal logo:
At first glance, the new app icon looks understated, its form and color reminiscent of the PayPal logo; the updated Pandora “P” has no counter (the open space between the stem and the bowl of the “P”), and sports a subtle blue gradient.
According to the New York Post, PayPal claims that its business is being hurt by customers who open the Pandora app when they mean to open the PayPal app. The Posts cites one PayPal customer’s comment: “I was a little confused when I opened PayPal and Barenaked Ladies started playing.”
Some consumers apparently even wondered if PayPal had acquired Pandora, which is not as far-fetched an idea as it might seem. Pandora’s financial struggles are well-documented and the company even now is open to an acquisition.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is often cited as the most likely potential buyer, but one wonders what Warren Buffett thinks of such a purchase. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) raised its stake in Sirius XM by about 6 million shares to 172.32 million in the first quarter of this year.
PayPal’s lawsuit does nothing to encourage potential suitors for Pandora. According to the Post story, PayPal tried to sort out the problem with Pandora, “but its letters were unheeded.” Mayhem ensues.