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[February 11, 2014]
T-Mobile wins legal battle over color magenta [Legal Monitor Worldwide]
(Legal Monitor Worldwide Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Like the color magenta? Well it belongs to T-Mobile now. The company won a court battle against AIO Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T over dispute due to a color similar to the one used in T-Mobile logos.
This, of course is not the first time a company has sued over the color in their brand.
T-Mobile sued AIO Wireless last summer over charges stemming from trademark infringement. Initially, T-Mobile argued that similarities in the color scheme matched with the fact that both were a part of the wireless industry might lead consumers to think the two were the same. Obviously, T-Mobile is pleased with the ruling saying in a statement that "T-Mobile's use of magenta is protected by trademark law." Other companies have also sued over rights belonging to their brand. As reported in The Washington Post by Brian Fung, Cadbury Chocolate bars went through a similar situation. Technically, the rivalry with Cadbury and Nestle over similar purple and gold wrapping is ongoing. Eventually, a British court decided that they could both sell chocolate with the purple wrappers and declaring Cadbury's packaging not able to warrant a trademark.
The red in Target ads is a trademarked color called Target Red. The color is only allowed to be used by non-rival companies, such as Ferrari. Infringing on trademark can be tricky. In 2011, Christian Louboutin, designer of the popular red-soled shoe, tried to get the red trademarked as well. Representatives from companies are watching their brand to see how it thrives, to most this is known as marketing. Of course, good and solid marketing is not successful without the brand to match it.
A rep for AIO told the Consumerist that while they disagree with the court's ruling, they are no longer implementing it into their designs and therefore it has no effect on them. Of course, T-Mobile is not stopping there.
According to Nilay Patel on Engadget, T-Mobile's German parent company asked Engadget to stop using magenta on its mobile site. To see what would hypothetically happen (though the chances are slim) of T-Mobile suing you for using the color magenta see his analysis here.
So, while T-Mobile is taking the magenta light from all the companies around them people are thinking about brands. Some of it is silly, some of it might not matter at all because it is only a small part of a larger corporation. However, in cases such as these even the small things matter.
And no, pink is not the same as magenta.
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