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.

Filed Under: magenta, trademark
Companies: t-mobile, telia


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  1. identicon
    MLS, 30 May 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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