Sorry T-Mobile, Other Companies Can Use The Color Magenta

from the trademark-isn't-ownership dept

A while back T-Mobile received a trademark on the color magenta for use in selling mobile phone services in certain markets, but it seems to be taking the trademark a little more seriously than it should, even to the point of threatening the blog Engadget for having a magenta-colored logo. It also took mobile operator Telia to court in Denmark for its own use of a magenta logo, but missed out on a couple of important facts: Telia and T-Mobile don't compete in the same markets in Denmark and (more importantly) Telia's magenta is a different shade of Magenta. The court has not just tossed out the lawsuit, but has dumped the court costs and Telia's legal fees onto T-Mobile's bill. Hopefully that will teach them that trademark law shouldn't be abused.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    John Tolbert, May 30th, 2008 @ 6:46am

    T-Mobile

    Hmm, I have used T-Mobile for many years but now wonder if they are worth it. Seems they ae trying to overstep their bounds.

    JJ
    http://www.fireme.to/udi

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    DS78, May 30th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Really?

    Since when can you trademark a color? That's ridiculous...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    James, May 30th, 2008 @ 6:54am

    Hey!!

    I have trademarked and copywrited black text! Pay me!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Ima Fish, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    Re: Really?

    Kodak has a trademark on that putrid orange they use. John Deere has a trademark on the green they use. I know it's asinine, but it's the law.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Manuel H, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:11am

    Re: Hey!!

    Sorry James, this is not black, is #333333

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    DS78, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Really?

    Here's the two things that get me. First, is that ability to trademark a color. Not as it applies to your logo, business etc. but just a color. Second, color is subjective. Not subjective by opinion, but by perception. People see color differently.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Really?

    And you wonder why some people don't respect our government and the "laws" we have.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Bob Bobbers, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:28am

    Re: Hey!!

    I reviewed your patent, because I own a similiar one. Your patent is limited to using black with Arial text. You used my black text patent to show your improvement. Mine was black text using Chinese characters and english characters. So you only get money when they use Arial. so technically they owe me.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    CraigSager'sToupee, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:32am

    corona santiago

    my old high school had to pay the miami dolphins for use their specific shade of teal. trademarking a color shouldn't be allowed.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    there is a difference between John Deere green and T-mobile magenta. Deere has been around for ever and its a may to mark their product once its out in use. so others who see it in a field or a yard will know instantly its a Deere. the t-mobile color is just for advertising media, not actual product.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    Except they didnt trademark a color, they trademarked a specific color for a specific type of product in specific areas.

    If I want to make T-Mobile magenta lawn tractors, or open a cell phone company whose logo is John Deere green I can.

    Also - color might be subjective, but you will see all products with T-Mobile magenta the same, regardless of whether you and I see it the same.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Buzz, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Attacking the color???

    Do they own one shade? Or do they own a range? I'm gonna open up my software company, take the T-Mobile magenta, offset the hue or saturation by 1, and tell the judge I'm not using the same color. :P

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    colorblind, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:24am

    How in the HELL can you trademark a color?

    That's it, I'm trademarking the friggin moon, so anyone who looks up has to pay me.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:29am

    Someone should trademark the word Magenta, then sue TMobile for using it in their brand book and legal documents.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    www.custompcmax.com, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:36am

    This is unbelievable that a company would actually try to sue for this sort of thing. Especially when the people they are suing are in completely different markets. I am sure I can find a store/company that uses a very similar color green that John Deer uses, yet they don't sue for that sort of thing. It would be a feasable arguement if the companies they were suing were other cell phone companies that used the same exact color AND a similar design. Way to go T-Mobile... show us your true colors. They say any publicity is good publicity... BUt, I don't think that is the case here. It shows you are a greedy and ruthless company, and most informed people try to stay away from that. Good luck to you! LOL

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Annonymous, May 30th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    Re: Really?

    Since always - believe it or not... The shade of BLUE that the NYPD USE TO OWN, for their cars could not be copied - car companies are(were) not allowed to paint a single car that color... Lately, NYC has changed colors and now the blue is merely a stripe on a white car...
    UPS BROWN - They claim that if the shade of brown can be copied - people will fall victim to fraud as well as robberies... There are a few more color copyrights... but these came to mind...

    NYPD BLUE
    FIRE ENGINE RED
    UPS BROWN

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    Can you say service master!

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    James, May 30th, 2008 @ 9:25am

    Nothing wrong w/trademarking a color

    Plenty wrong with your idiot legal team trying to coherse those who use the same color in a NON-related business model,.. or a different shade. Grow up.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    MLS, May 30th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    T-Mobile

    Just to be accurate, T-Mobile has not obtained a trademark on a color. What it has registered is a logo in which one of its constituent elements happens to be magenta in color. Even a novice practicing trademark law knew that T-Mobile was on the losing side of an argument.

    By the way, there are a few trademarks limited to color, but those are almost impossible to secure and require compelling evidence that the color is intimately ingrained in the minds of ordinary consumers for the goods with which the color is used that consumer confusion is likely as to the source of the goods. Perhaps the best known is the one held by Owens-Corning for insulation that is colored pink. Like I said, these are quite rare and generally quite limited in scope.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Ben, May 30th, 2008 @ 10:15am

    Re: T-Mobile

    They surely are overstepping their bounds. I think they know that most of their users will never see any stories about this trademark bullying, though, and so they're not worried about it.

    It does make me wonder how long I'll be using their service though!

    http://textrapolate.com/

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    dijital, May 30th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Astounding

    When you think of it in the most basic terms, T-Mobile are effectively attempting to stop any use of any material that reflects light of a particular wavelength in advertising.
    That's just absurd...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    mike allen, May 30th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    mike

    you say you hope they learn their lesson mmmmm want to bet!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    wasnt me, May 30th, 2008 @ 11:39am

    makes me wonder who will come up with a patent on patents?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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