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WEX Inc sues HP Inc for trademark infringement

April 15, 2024

WEX, a global commerce platform that simplifies the business of running a business, has filed a federal lawsuit against HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. for infringing its trademarks.

According to the lawsuit, WEX has created a powerful ecosystem that offers seamlessly embedded, personalised solutions for its customers around the world. Through its rich data and specialised expertise in simplifying benefits, reimagining mobility, and facilitating paying and getting paid, WEX aims to make it easy for companies to overcome complexity and reach their full potential. These services are offered under WEX’s well-known and distinctive WEX family of trademarks.

On 7 March 2024, HP announced the launch of its own “WEX,” a misappropriation of WEX’s trademarks. Like WEX’s platform offerings, HP’s “WEX” is a platform that aims to supply businesses with innovative solutions to their everyday workforce problems. HP’s “WEX” is marketing to a similar customer base as WEX, which is inevitably causing confusion in the marketplace. Both WEX and HP’s “WEX” are promoting their respective software as being customer-driven, providing data, assisting in fleet management, increasing productivity, utilizing AI, and reducing friction.

“WEX is a globally recognised company that has developed a platform to manage complex logistical challenges for businesses worldwide. HP’s use of the “WEX” name will inevitably sow confusion in the marketplace,” said Jessica Roy, Vice President of Financial Communications at WEX. “Given the similarities between the software, fleet and data management, and employee solutions offered by WEX on the one hand, and the “WEX”-branded software, fleet and data management, and employee solutions offered by HP on the other, combined with the overlapping worldwide footprint of both companies, confusion between the two WEX offerings is inevitable—and is already beginning to materialize. We have filed this action to prevent harm to our brand.”

WEX has been using the name WEX since 1989 and formally rebranded to WEX in 2012. It holds several federally registered trademarks for WEX, covering software-as-a-service (SaaS). WEX added that it holds five incontestable trademark registrations protecting use of the WEX name for services that the company says HP’s “WEX” is attempting to mirror, claiming services in the same classes as the registered WEX trademarks.

WEX said that it tried to resolve this dispute amicably, but HP refused to stop its use of the WEX name. WEX said it was therefore forced to file this lawsuit. WEX intends to seek a preliminary injunction to force HP to immediately discontinue all further infringement of the WEX trademark.

“This case is about protecting WEX’s global brand and its longstanding trademark rights,” said Megan K. Bannigan, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton and counsel to WEX. “HP’s use of the “WEX” name is already beginning to create confusion in the marketplace and will lead customers to believe that HP is either partnering with or has acquired WEX’s widely respected platform and software know-how to market HP’s new services. WEX and its customers deserve protection from the confusion HP’s actions will cause.”

The complaint can be viewed here.

WEX Inc. is represented by Megan Bannigan, David Bernstein, Christopher Ford, Nicole Flores, and Kendra Berry of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Gavin McCarthy and Nolan Reichl of Pierce Atwood LLP.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : HP Inc Lawsuit Software Trademark Infringement WEX

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