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November 09, 2007

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Comments

Jack Hawkins

Trademarks have to be defended otherwise they are lost. Ridiculous as it seems if T-Mobile didn't try to block it's usage they could lose the ability to clearly distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Mike

pic is awes

Marcus

Jack, it would be better for the general good of society that T-Mobile lost some legal ground to preserve its marks than the chilling effects of this kind of BS legal brute work bully younger upstarts from using which the fuck ever frequency of light waves they please.

Holland Oats

why the netherlands?

Seattle

A few years back, in conjunction with a branding/redesign, Pepsi tried copyrighting a certain shade of blue. It's amazing, isn't it?

Clayton

I seem to remember something about the Church of Scientology having trademarked the word "happiness."

JINX_HYPERBOLE

TRADEMARKS SMADEMARKS! THEY DID NOT CREATE THAT COLOR AND THEREFORE HAVE NO RIGHT TO CLAIM IT AS THEIR OWN. I PRAY THIS JACK HAWKINS CHARACTER IS ON SOME SARCASTIC CRACK BINGE BECAUSE THE IDEA THAT CORPORATE LACKEYS LURK ON WFMU'S BLOG DISTURBS MY FRAGILE PSYCHE TO THE POINT OF UNHINGED OBSCENITY.

zia

just adds to the publicity i guess?

oscar

I'm pretty sure T-Mobile doesn't "own" magenta or enforce their ownership in the way most people are willing to believe:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/09/know-your-rights-does-t-mobile-really-own-magenta/

doron

Yes Oscar: we're also "pretty sure T-Mobile doesn't own magenta".

The fact that Engadget has to publish a story called "Know Your Rights" which asks questions like "Hey, does T-Mobile really own magenta? I was just about to redesign my blog, and that was going to be the main color" is pretty amazing.

It strains credulity that people would actually *believe* that any company can "own" a color but your link seems to suggest that this in fact has happened. This, to me, is more of a story than T-Mobile's action.

Last but not least: the engadget story seems to be about 2 companies in Germany while the story we picked up is about 3 companies in the Netherlands: Compello, Slam FM, and 100% NL.

K

Actually, I'm pretty sure they do, or they wouldn't be suing.

They're not the only company that owns it. A quick search of the US trademark database produced 117 trademarks for the design code

29.02.01 - Red or pink (single color used for the entire goods/services)

A search on the more general root code for colors in general ( 29.$ ) produced some 4458 trademarks in the US.

If there is any story here, it is that whatever trademarking authority t-mobile obtained the mark from allows for protection of the mark as applied to "internet services". I can understand that they may own the particular shade for selling mobile phone service, but "internet services" can mean just about anything. Hence the landslide of lawsuits in whatever jurisdiction the mark covers ( not US apparently ). So yeah, if you have a website that sells crap, and you use their shade of magenta, and you live in a country where the mark can be enforced, you can be sued. I would agree with the majority here that this is bullshit, but only for the reasons I outlined above.

On the other hand, if you think that in general trademarking a color is evil, two suggestions. First, look at the trademarks in the US database to get a sense of how this works in practice. Second, try to convince yourself and all your friends to stop buying shit based on the color of the package, or the size of the tits on the model used on the cover of the package, or the shape of the package, but instead buy based on the quality of the thing inside the package. If you can do this, there would be no need for such a basically absurd and stupid thing as a color trademark. I for one roundly encourage you to do so, but I have no hope of peoples behaviour changing in this regard.

Also, no, I'm not a lawyer.

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