We have heard quite a good bit about the Patent Wars as of late, with Apple, Samsung, and other tech companies both suing and being sued. While these cases have cost billions of dollars, they have certainly provided us with a lot to talk about. This time around, we are hearing about a case that isn't involving a patent, but rather a trademark… specifically, the now-iconic T-Mobile magenta color. The big issue here is that Aio Wireless, a subsidiary of T-Mobile's competitor AT&T, changed the color of their brand to a 'plum', which is almost identical to the magenta, similar enough that T-Mobile took them to court over it back in August of last year. Today, the federal court in Texas has ruled in favor of the UNCarrier, who released this statement:
"A federal court has halted AT&T's transparent effort to infringe on T-Mobile's distinctive magenta trademark. T-Mobile [U.S. Inc.] is very pleased that the federal court in Texas has ordered Aio Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T, to stop infringing T-Mobile's magenta trademark. The court agreed with us that Aio can't continue infringing T-Mobile's magenta mark by using large blocks of what it has called "plum," and told Aio to stop using magenta or similar colors in all of its marketing and advertising, including stores, web sites and social media. The Court's ruling, coming after extensive argument and a three-day hearing, validates T-Mobile's position that wireless customers identify T-Mobile with magenta and that T-Mobile's use of magenta is protected by trademark law."
This victory for the up-and-coming service provider may seem small, but it has major implications. When a company is creating as large of waves as T-Mobile is in the industry, it is imperative that they protect their brand recognition. With the large number of color possibilities out there, it is clear that Aio Wireless and AT&T were looking to ride on the coattails of T-Mobile's success, even if just to get people to start looking at Aio when they thought, at a glance, that they were looking at T-Mobile. This victory makes me happy as a T-Mobile customer, simply because the brand that I have chosen is being protected, and hopefully no one else will attempt to infringe on it. What do you think? Do you have any opinions on the matter? Let us know in the comments below!