PayPal sues Pandora over new similar logo, mocks its struggling business model

Online payments giant PayPal sued Pandora over the latter’s new logo, claiming the music-streaming service’s new blue “P” logo was “infringing and diluting” PayPal’s brand.

PayPal filed suit Friday in Manhattan’s federal court to try to force Pandora to stop using its new logo and seek damages for customers repeatedly mixing up the two companies, especially on mobile devices.

In the suit, PayPal took screenshots of multiple Facebook posts and tweets that complain about the two logos’ similarities.

“I thought my phone installed PayPal but it really just autoupdated Pandora Music,” reads one anonymous tweet included in the suit. “Did PayPal absorb Pandora?”

Since its inception, Pandora sported a dark blue, serifed “P” with a color-matching border around the letter as its logo. The new logo, which was unveiled last October, dropped the border and serif and the “P” became thicker, lighter in color, and even had a gradient to boot.

PayPal’s logo is two overlapping P’s with similar thickness and font to Pandora’s. Its bottom P shares the same light blue color as well with a similar gradient.

PayPal claims in the suit that it reached out to Pandora multiple times, including handing over 110 pages filled with examples of consumer confusion over the new logo. But Pandora allegedly stonewalled any chance for resolution.

“Unable to amicably resolve the dispute, PayPal, though reluctant to sue a business partner, had no choice but to file suit to protect its consumers and its brand,” PayPal writes in the suit.

Reluctant as PayPal claims it is, the lawsuit did not hold back at calling the Oakland-based company a struggling business in an increasingly competitive music-streaming market. PayPal argues Pandora’s new logo was a desperate attempt to “latch itself on to” PayPal’s popularity as it struggles to compete with other services like Spotify and Apple Music.

“As a streaming music service known mostly for its free-to-consumers version, Pandora has no obvious path to profitability,” PayPal says.

Despite its harsh wording, PayPal is not wrong. Pandora was in discussions with several private equity firms for a partnership in exchange for cash to help expand the business in April. Last year, Pandora turned down an acquisition bid from the owners of Sirius XM Radio. Last week, rumors of Sirius buying Pandora surfaced again.

“We have no further comment on the matter while this suit is pending,” a Pandora spokesperson told Gizmodo.


Above: Screenshot of comparison of PayPal’s logo, left, and Pandora’s new logo. (From the lawsuit)


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  • sd

    OK, the similarities between the logos are many. But if you have users who can’t tell the difference between a streaming-music service and an e-payment service, maybe they shouldn’t be your users. Just sayin’.

    What’s next? Complaining that both “Pandora” and “PayPal” start with the letter P and have two As in the name? smh