Oh, corporate lawyers, you never-ending source of entertainment, you! Imagine being a relatively obscure insurance company, and one called Lemonade at that. Who could be angry at such a market participant?
Well, T-Mobile, that's who. In fact, its parent company, Deutsche Telecom, which sent
a seriously-worded, legalese-sounding letter to Lemonade, demanding it stop using T-Mobile's insignia.
No, not the logo or the name, the color Pantone Rhodamine Red U, also known as magenta. Yep, Team Magenta doesn't want you using their signature hue, or else. Lemonade's CEO Daniel Schreiber knew that things could quickly get serious, but was at least a little bit amused nonetheless.
You're talking about the one of the three ink cartridges in every printer in the world. The idea that a company can trademark it and own it, just defied belief and I was in a state of disbelief.
It's also not the first time that T-Mobile demands ransom money for magenta. While Lemonade's Schreiber actually calls the copious amounts of the color it uses in its marketing a shade of pink, AT&T was also sued
by T-Mobile on the matter, even though it used something more akin to a plum hue not long ago. In case you are wondering, here's how Lemonade's logo looks like:
The real winner from the brouhaha over a color trademark? Pantone, as we had to go and look up the name of the exact shade of magenta that we've come to associate with T-Mobile.
We'll see how the lawsuit and the backlash against Deutsche Telekom's color ownership progress, but in the meantime you can start imagining Pantone Rhodamine Red U getting diluted with Sprint's yellow.