Judge tells AT&T to stop infringing on T-Mobile's magenta logo

Judge tells AT&T to stop infringing on T-Mobile's magenta logo
Last August, T-Mobile filed a suit against AT&T for the latter's use of a plum coloring for the trademark employed for its Aio prepaid subsidiary. T-Mobile stated that it was too close to the magenta color that has become synonymous with the nation's fourth largest carrier. On Saturday, the Federal Court agreed with T-Mobile that the logo could confuse some people and has ordered AT&T to stop using magenta or a similar coloring for its Aio division.

Aio is not allowed to use the color for advertising and marketing in stores, on websites and social media. The decision was made after a three-day hearing. The court sided with T-Mobile's position that it is identified by the magenta color and that such use of the magenta color is protected under trademark law. AT&T has already announced that once its deal to buy Leap Wireless closes, it will drop the Aio name anyway, making the ruling not as important for AT&T as it might have been otherwise.

We would also like to point out once again, the absolutely hilarious tweet that T-Mobile CEO John Legere sent out on the day that the suit was announced last summer. 


source: T-Mobile via TmoNews

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23 Comments

1. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

This is how ridiculous the system has gotten. A goddamned color can be trademarked, even if it's just close to the color of another company logo. Sickening, and I don't even like AT&T.

4. g2a5b0e unregistered

It's not like T-Mobile sued Barbie, Playboy, Victoria Secrets Pink line, or the Breast Cancer Awareness Society. They sued Aio, another wireless company that decided to use a hue similar to their trademarked version. What's the point of trademarking a color if you're not going to protect your property? And also, let's be honest. This wasn't a completely innocent act by AT&T. Companies spend hundreds & thousands of hours coming up with marketing schemes & strategies. AT&T clearly had T-Mobile in mind when they came up with this color & the reason was obviously to try to possibly confuse customers. Now, it probably didn't work for most. But, even if they can pull 1 out of 10, that's money they're making that T-Mobile's not. It was definitely a ploy by AT&T & I side with T-Mobile on this one.

5. Ant34

Posts: 193; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

Why was a color even allowed to be trademarked?

8. g2a5b0e unregistered

Companies do it all the time to protect their brand image. It really only applies to that particular industry. Magenta is a huge part of T-Mobile's brand image. Their suit would have no merit if they tried to sue a clothing store using the same color, but another wireless company that might be trying to cash in on their success? It only makes sense.

12. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It doesn't matter who they sued. It wasn't because the AIO logo had similar wording or shape. I was because it used a similar (not matching) color. Colors are a part of nature - no one can invent a color. No one should be able to trademark a color. The AIO logo looks nothing like the T-Mobile logo. This is just another indicator of how stupid and broken the system is.

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

AT&T purposely did this to poke at T-Mobile. I'm pretty sure if T-Mobile used blue, AT&T would so the exact same thing. I don't feel sorry for AT&T at all.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And that would be ridiculous, too.

9. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

http://www.businessinsider.com/can-you-identify-these-12-brands-by-their-trademarked-colors-alone-2012-2?op=1 I've also heard Coca Cola red and the blue in the Miami Dolphins uniform is also trademarked. Rather stupid if you ask me.

10. g2a5b0e unregistered

See comment #8.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

We saw comment number 8. It didn't make anything about this lawsuit less stupid.

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

Well, if you had any kind of business sense whatsoever or even just owned a business of your own, you might understand. People will always be trying to figure out a way to get at your money. It needs to be protected.

15. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Bullsh*t. If someone can take your customers just by using a similar color to your logo, you're not a very good businessman.

16. g2a5b0e unregistered

I don't think that's what it is. You underestimate how dumb the average person is. Not that the average commenter on Phone Arena is a good example, but the average person in general doesn't comment on tech websites or even frequent them at all. They don't necessarily know the difference between AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon & what they provide. Those are the people being targeted by this sort of thing.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Sorry, I don't buy it. I could see if the logos were similar. They're not even close. It's a color, and not even the same color but a close one. Anyone who could be confused by a similar color in a completely different logo isn't dumb, they're brain dead. And, if these consumers don't know the difference between those companies and what the provide, then the logos don't matter to them. Either way, being able to trademark a color is a stupid as being able to patent oxygen.

2. Ant34

Posts: 193; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

Are you (expletive) kidding me?

3. bkzebraphone

Posts: 38; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

Oh look. This magenta color looks like tmobile magenta but it says AIO wireless. I'm so confused. Idk if it's AIO or tmobile. Fml.

6. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Stupidity is out of control these days. It won't matter anyway by time summer rolls around, because AIO will be merged into Cricket. Enjoy the new shade of teal until then.

7. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I thought AIO was using a different color anyway?

13. Topcat488

Posts: 1419; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

AT&T just needs to wait a couple of months and the T-Mobile color will change to the "Yellow, Black, & White" of Sprint/Softbank anyway. O.0

18. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1250; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I actually agree with this. When i see all ads for phones in magenta i just assume its Tmobile. Out of all the colors, why would ATT pick magenta too if there was not malcontent?

20. g2a5b0e unregistered

Exactly! +1

21. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

I guess no company should go green! Lol

22. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Cricket is green, so AIO will be too soon.

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