back to article T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom is making legal threats against a small British business – on the grounds that the German company has an exclusive trademark on a shade of the colour magenta. James Ridsdale, MD of Brighton-based business Datajar, said he was stunned after receiving a letter demanding he drop his own company's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pink

    "DT claimed that the Great British Public (bless their silly little heads) might get the two companies mixed up as a result of the pinkness"

    Good point. They should choose another colour. They don't want customers thinking they are in any way affiliated to T-mobile. Bad for business.

  2. Aaiieeee
    Angel

    So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

    as a part of my company identity I can then licence the use to all other companies world wide. I won't sell anything, just recieve royalties. I will need a fairly strong legal arm for the bigger players of course, but hopefully after a few smaller companies cave without a fight and start paying I should have the cash soon enough.

    1. The Mole

      Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

      If you follow T Mobiles playbook you don't even need to trademark all the combinations, just a sufficient number of them to be able to claim 'similarity' with any other colours - 256 colours would probably be sufficient according to MS Paint 'basic' colour selection.

      Though I may just trademark black, Red, yellow and cyan, as colours either in solid or as dots and claim all other printed logos are infringing as overlayed trademarked images..

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

      Trademarks must be asserted, so you must be doing business.

      However, the meat of the argument is actually regarding the RAL / Pantone colour to which Deutsche Telekom does indeed own the rights. Pantone is used for printing and RAL for paint and such like. At least in Germany you'll have a hard time using those colours for anything physical because the rights cover ensuring the relevant pigments are distributed.

      RGB values are a different matter because you can't own the general process of mixing light to produce them. So this does indeed revert to standard trademark protection rules and whether confusion is possible. IANAL and this does seem a fairly weak case but it is never a good idea to use colours that are the same or very similar to well-known brand in your own branding.

      On a slightly related note a woman from Krefeld recently received demands for payment from lawyers representing Lemmy who objected to her selling knitted dolls of the rocker. Courts often do come out in favour of rights owners and have in this case as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hmmmm

        How do you intend to avoid colours similar to well known brands? That's going to be impossible, most people aren't going to be able to look and go, "That's 10% darker/lighter than brand X" unless they put them side by side, so by what you're saying it's going to be impossible to avoid a similar colour as used by a major brand based on an average users recollection and perception.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Hmmmm

          How do you intend to avoid colours similar to well known brands?

          A good design agency will know how to check before they submit a pitch because things like the Pantone will pop up pretty quickly. In reality, this isn't much different to things like checking the name or typeface being used.

          If you think this is stacked against small businesses then you'd be right but this is true for pretty much the whole area of IP. I'm not advocating this just trying to explain how it works.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

        "but it is never a good idea to use colours that are the same or very similar to well-known brand in your own branding."

        In the 1970s International Computers Limited had a "liquorice all-sorts" livery in white, orange, and black - with the logo "ICL" in a square box.

        It was surprise one day to see a car transporter with pretty much an identical livery - and near enough the same "ICL" logo. An unrelated company that was named something like "International Cars Limited".

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

          "It was surprise one day to see a car transporter with pretty much an identical livery - and near enough the same "ICL" logo."

          Trademarks are only granted in the area of operation. Unless you're a conglomorate like some of the korean or japanese outfits you can't have your trademark covering every possible area of business.

          If I was a fish and chip shop, I could quite happily use that shade of magenta without fear of a trademark claim, as T mobile don't do takeaway food.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

        "RGB values are a different matter because you can't own the general process of mixing light to produce them. So this does indeed revert to standard trademark protection rules and whether confusion is possible."

        IIRC BP were going to set up filling stations in the US. An American agency was advising them to change their existing corporate colour scheme to red and blue - as it was scientifically proven to be the most visually distinctive for signage at the side of roads.

        Before making a decision they were taken for a drive along a road lined with different companies' filling stations. At which point it was realised that all their competitors were using red and blue - so their own existing colour scheme would be perfect differentiation.

        1. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

          An American agency was advising them to change their existing corporate colour scheme to red and blue - as it was scientifically proven to be the most visually distinctive for signage at the side of roads.

          Really? Really, really?

          That's why traffic signs are red and blue, is it?

          One interesting fact. Due to chromatic aberration in the eye, red text on a blue background (or vice versa) is very difficult to read because the focus for each colour is slightly different. The eye focuses on the red, but the red-blue boundary is blurred. So it focuses on the blue, but the red-blue boundary is blurred. Attempting to read such text for any length of time will give you a headache.

          That said, the filling station logos I've seen tend to be disjunct red and blue on a white background. Somewhat better then a sign consisting solely of red and blue, but even so if you're looking at the red bits then the blue bits are blurred and vice versa.

          Any agency advising red/blue signage is talking complete shite. Unless they're banking on it giving people headaches when they look at it, so they pull into the filling station for a coffee and to buy aspirin.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB..

            "The eye focuses on the red, but the red-blue boundary is blurred. So it focuses on the blue, but the red-blue boundary is blurred. "

            Which is why flagmakers put a pinstripe between clashing colours centuries ago for visibility. the classic examples being the Union flag (it's not _all_ the St Andrew's cross) and the red stars of the NZ flag on their blue background.

      4. JassMan Silver badge

        Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB.. @ Charlie Clark

        You don't need to patent all RGB colours only the remaining 2327 RAL colours. RAL is a limited palette of colours chosen because of their reproducibility. That is why DT chose to specify a RAL number in their trademark. The important thing about RAL colours is that no matter which manufacturer you use for your paint/dye/pigment you are always guaranteed to get exactly the same colour for a given colour number. The colours are also chosen for their permanence which is why the range appears to be quite limited.

        IMHO allowing anyone to "own" a colour should be banned for the simple fact that worldwide there are more business entities that visually discernible colours and therefore not enough colours to go round. Even 24bit RGB gives only 16.8 million colours most of which are indiscernible from their nearest neighbours.

        On the case in point, the DT legal action should fail since they themselves limited their trademark application to a single RAL colour. Any other RAL colour is easily perceived to be a different by any human with normal colour vision.

        1. 2Fat2Bald

          Re: So if I trademark all combinations of RGB.. @ Charlie Clark

          I do wonder, if I have a zit on my arse in "Megacorp Pink", will I get a letter from their lawyers?

          There are many, many good reasons I should wear trousers in public. But that shouldn't be one.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Stupid

    The problem is worse in USA. USPTO makes more money from approvals than rejections and US model is the assumption that if it's an invalid award, it will be invalidated by a court case.

    "Winter is Coming" book #4 in "Cocky Seasons" series. Obviously the background of the romance's book cover is in a nice shade of pinkish magenta. Obviously I'm now an author for the day job rather than in IT/Programming/Electronics.

    The system for Trademarks & Patents needs reformed. Abolishing Copyright, Trademarks, Registered Design (Design patent in USA) and Patents is the wrong solution. We need reform.

    The only worthwhile aspects to abolish are DRM, DMCA, perpetual renewals of copyrights by Corporations. Maybe ICANN. Why can't a domain name follow copyright rules. It's crazy that a malware/squatter/ads can grab it if you forget to renew or skip for a year?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Stupid

      Why can't a domain name follow copyright rules.

      They do in many countries, just not the US.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Stupid

      "Abolishing Copyright, Trademarks, Registered Design (Design patent in USA) and Patents is the wrong solution."

      It worked for King James.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Pier review

    Point them in the direction a short pier, donate hiking boots and a waypoint somewhere past the end.

  5. Salestard

    Come the revolution

    When I eventually put my plans for benign world/national/county* domination in action, then the first against the wall won't be the lawyers. No, that'd be far too expensive, time-consuming, and fraught with wrangling.

    In the glorious republic, I will instead give defendants in blatantly bullshit C&D, trademark, and IPO cases the option for Trial by Combat; The respective MD/CEO of each organisation in a fight to submission with weapons decided by the smaller party. No stand-ins or champions.

    *Actual extent of domination may vary. Level of benign also variable. In fact, it'd be like Populous, only with better graphics

    Apart from that, I have nothing constructive to say about this article.

    1. Locky Silver badge

      Re: Come the revolution

      ** Squares of ground my go up as well as down

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Come the revolution

      " The respective MD/CEO of each organisation in a fight to submission with weapons decided by the smaller party. No stand-ins or champions."

      IIRC MD/CEO of big companies are likely to fit the profile of a psychopath.

  6. adam payne Silver badge

    Nonetheless, DT claimed that the Great British Public (bless their silly little heads) might get the two companies mixed up as a result of the pinkness:

    Not sure how someone could mistake two different companies with different names.

    "cease and desist… from all use of the Figurative Sign and the colour magenta and closely similar colour shades".

    You have the trademark on a specific colour not similar shades so there is no case to answer.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Who is plainly stupid ?

      Nonetheless, DT claimed that the Great British Public (bless their silly little heads) might get the two companies mixed up as a result of the pinkness

      Reply saying that the Great British Public are clearly more intelligent than the directors of T-Mobile as they do not get the two mixed up.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Who is plainly stupid ?

        "Reply saying that the Great British Public are clearly more intelligent than the directors of T-Mobile as they do not get the two mixed up."

        I thought T-Mobile and Orange merged in the UK and became EE. Looking at the DataJar website, it doesn't look like they trade outside the UK. There doesn't appear to be any territory or business overlap. And of course there;s the point raised earlier that the trademark is for a highly specific colour definition which DataJar are not using.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Methinks it's "lawyers". They need billings and income so this is the result. In this case, they did something. Stupid it was, but they did something and were paid.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Lawyers don't hire themselves

        DT hires lawyers and then some senior exec decides to use them.

        1. Cpt Blue Bear

          Re: Lawyers don't hire themselves

          "DT hires lawyers and then some senior exec decides to use them."

          No, I doubt any company executive was involved.

          The way these thing work is the company hires a local lawyer to "defend their interests". Said local lawyer soon discovers the retainer doesn't cover the repayments on a Mercedes and that he actually has to run up some billable hours before he can, well, bill for them. Thus he jumps on things like this. It doesn't matter if its sensible or if he can win, all that matters is he has some hours to bill the client.

          As evidence in this case I cite the generic IP related press release. If anyone at head office had any idea what this was about it would reference specifics.

          The real problem is that companies pay these bills without questioning the value of the work done.

  7. myhandler

    BP tried trademarking "BP green" about 25 years ago and were told where to go.

    If you consider colour theory there is no such thing as a specific colour anyway.

    Someone going to trademark black now ?

    1. Rob D.

      BP going green

      Even more recent than that. Australia kicked out BP's application just a few years ago.

      http://ipwhiteboard.com.au/bp-loses-colour-trade-mark-battle/

  8. katrinab Silver badge

    Do they still own the claimed trademark?

    I thought they merged it with their French neighbour's favourite colour to form EE, then sold it to BT.

    1. Spudley

      Re: Do they still own the claimed trademark?

      I thought they merged it with their French neighbour's favourite colour to form EE, then sold it to BT.

      That was just the UK instance of T-Mobile. The brand continues to exist in many other countries, and is still owned by DT. Likewise with Orange.

      Indeed, one of the main reasons they changed the name to EE when Orange and T-Mobile merged rather than maintaining one or both existing brands was so that they could sell the combined entity off without having to sell the trademarks.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Do they still own the claimed trademark?

        >That was just the UK instance of T-Mobile.

        This is going to be interesting, as DT are playing the 'EU' single market card on this and given T-Mobile UK effectively ceased trading in 2010 and EE stopped using the branding in 2015, there are questions over whether DT have done enough subsequently to protect their brand in the UK.

        I also find it amusing that DT are wanting DataJar to write to the UKIPO etc. when in fact this is something that DT should be doing - perhaps if they did this they would understand why the UKIPO -operating under EU law - allowed the DataJar application to proceed to publication... I suspect they know full well that they don't really have a case and are just trying to bully DataJar...

        Personally, I would pluck a figure out-of-the-air and send that back as the price of undertaking the requested work. I'm sure as a reflection of their "high value on the integrity of a fair market and the business contributions of every market participant" and the avoidance of bad publicity and the legal costs, DT would happily write out a cheque for a few million...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do they still own the claimed trademark?

          This does seem a particularly stupid claim given that after a series of implosions and collisions T-Mobile no longer trade in the UK as such. Maybe they should have thought about that before imploding with Orange, and then allowing the lumpen ee(k) to be swallowed by the BT mobster [oops, autocorrect], monster.

          Readers with long memories will remember that once upon a time, the future was bright, the future was Orange; and that T-Mobile offered great value tariffs if you were OK with their poorer coverage.

          But eek offer nothing apart from higher prices, and since T-Mobile willingly gave up their brand here, I say tough luck to them.

  9. Dom 3

    Hang on....

    "Our client finds it highly surprising that the [UK Intellectual Property Office] examiner allowed this application to progress to publication" appears to refer to DT... in which case they are admitting it's stupid?

  10. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Pirate

    Trademark Lawyers...

    Whats the bet that was not submitted directly by Tmobile but by whatever bunch of <span class="strike">pirates</span> lawyers they have hired to "defend" their intellectual property, making this a case of the soft target getting worked over so some arse can be seen to do something?

    Ps anyone knows what I did wrong with the span it's not rendering for me?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trademark Lawyers...

      Having just binge watched "Suits" and can now profess to be a subject matter expert on all things lawful, I concur

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, I feel sorry for the elephants

        @AC; 'Having just binge watched "Suits""

        Bet you only watched it to get a good look (#) at Merkin Meogle or whatever her name is before Harry locks her up in a trunk (trunk!) the Tower of London, so no big hunk (hunk!) can steal her away from him. (Get down!)

        (#) To respectfully observe the latest addition to our beloved Royal Family that it's our "pleasure" to subsidise, of course.

    2. Alistair Silver badge

      Re: Trademark Lawyers...

      use \<s\> and \</s\> minus the escapesbackslashes

    3. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Trademark Lawyers...

      "Ps anyone knows what I did wrong with the span it's not rendering for me?"

      I just tend to use the < strike>< /strike> tags (spaced for display purposes).

    4. Rob D.

      Re: Trademark Lawyers...

      Kind of hope that common sense will prevail a la Redwell beer. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-23705255

    5. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Trademark Lawyers...

      @}{amis}{

      Ps anyone knows what I did wrong with the span it's not rendering for me?

      You assumed that El Reg's list of allowed (for those of us with badges) HTML mark-up was correct. :) The documentation didn't keep up with a coding change (or was never correct in the first place).

      If I were you, I'd go on strike in protest. :)

  11. Alan J. Wylie

    We need a crowd-sourced distributed binary (hexagonal?) chop on the RGB triplets to find out exactly where the lawyers stop alleging that a particular shade infringes. We can then mock them mercilessly for claiming that one shade of magenta is OK and an indistinguishable one a fraction away in colour space doesn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not defending legalistic bullshit et al. However, at the risk of being the messenger that gets shot I doubt your proposal would achieve anything except (misleadingly) making a bunch of geeks think they'd outsmarted some lawyers. If they cared at all, they'd as likely be amused that the alleged "mockery" missed the entire point- The Law Does Not Work How Geeks Think It Does.

      There seems to be a fallacy among some geek types (#) that the law is a fixed set of rules that can be tied down and gamed by exploiting them with some (often borderline ludicrous) interpretation. (##)

      It doesn't really work like this- in common law-based countries such as the United States and most of the United Kingdom at least. (###) Even less so when trademarks are involved, which are inevitably dependent upon context and interpretation.

      So I doubt you're going to be able to pin down the "cutoff" point because there won't be one. It'll probably vary depending on context and what it's in the lawyer's interest to successfully argue.

      And even if you think such tactics are hypocritical bullshit- and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with that- you think the lawyers are likely to be bothered by any attempt to mock them on that basis? Much of what lawyers do- particularly in areas like this- is to find and exploit ambiguity and subtlety in the law in their clients' interest.

      (#) As prone as anyone to assuming the rest of the world works in the same way as it does in their mindset and area of expertise.

      (##) In their fantasy version of the law, this would typically force the judge to grant them victory because they'd- in their own mind- logically followed that (supposedly) fixed set of rules. In reality, it would more likely see them censured for playing silly buggers and quickly losing the case.

      (##) England, Wales and Northern Ireland use common law. The Scottish legal system is a mixture of common and civil law, but I doubt Scottish law would be involved at all with this case against a company based in England.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        > England, Wales and Northern Ireland use common law.

        Overlooking the facts of the case, DT is a German HQ'd company, trying to invoke EU law. So what isn't clear is whether DT will (if ignored) apply to the UK courts or apply to the German courts to get an EU wide decision...

  12. macjules Silver badge

    And what about?

    www.lastminute.com also claim to have copyrighted the colour magenta, or to be more accurate, Pantone 676C which is the shade that DT claim's to own. Then again DT's bullies solicitors won't take on a big company.

    Perukes and daggers at dawn please. Last lawyer standing will be shot.

    1. Rob D.

      Re: And what about?

      The legal argument there would be around domain for use such that a consumer can't be misled by virtue of offering similar services/products. DT won't claim to be offering cheap hotel rooms whereas they are trying to infer that Datajar are in the same domain, so lastminute.com's trademark isn't relevant.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a trademark on brown so I'm warning people now, don't give me shit.

    1. Mr Youmustbe Fuckingjoking

      I Have a trade mark on black so all you people on the dark side of the planet owe me money.

    2. Rob D.
      Coat

      Caught short

      UPS has already got the trademark on faecal brown. Perhaps that should be skid-mark?

    3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      "I have a trademark on brown so I'm warning people now, don't give me shit."

      Well, since you're the only one allowed to use it, we HAVE to surrender it to you or be in violation of your trademark!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. David Neil

    Arkell v Pressdram

    No further comment

  15. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    I am appalled

    My company has a history of literally weeks using our unique classic house style of White background overlaid by a scientifically-developed Black lettering typeface font. Why has a reputable organ such as El Reg blatantly plagiarised our corporate livery in plain site [sic] on this very forum?!

  16. macjules Silver badge

    I have just copyrighted #ffffff, rgb(255,255,255)

    My lawyers are already salivating.

  17. Happycheesecake

    My eyes, my eyes!

    Anyone informed Mattel about that pink colour? PANTONE 219 C apparently is owned by Mattel themselves.

  18. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Pink

    it's my new obsession.

    1. ma1010 Silver badge

      Re: Pink

      IT's not even a question.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Leck mich am Arsch!

        says a baboon at Berlin zoo

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow Intel Centrino.....

    Reminds me of when Intel introduced the Blue + 'Magenta' Centrino(tm) branding ~13-15 years back- DT threw a wobbly then also; funny as they were a 'partner' for the tech roll-out......Intel did the 'decent' thing and rather than argue made their selection a couple of pantone colours darker - knowing full well that any signage in the sun would fade slightly over time getting back to same effective colour :-) A case of malicious compliance.....just have James write back to these leechly lawyers pointing out the difference in the RGB colour space and using a darker pantone variant of Magenta for their own style guide as another case of malicious compliance ;-)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Case law...?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24401249

  21. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    New icon required

    I propose this for anyone making such claims: https://img.memecdn.com/w-anchor_o_54030.webp

  22. Dwarf Silver badge

    Learn to share

    We teach children to learn to share from an early age. I'm guessing that those trying to enforce such silly claims must be those that struggled with the concept from an early age.

    Otherwise, presumably Pantone or the children's TV programme "Rainbow" own all the colours and nobody else can use any - including black and white, at which point, all forms of communication becomes impossible. What happens if someone makes a claim for BLACK text.

    For extra fun we could add colour attributes and font attributes to the DNS system, so that companies have to register all the 16 million colours of each DNS name to protect the various types of serif and sans-serif fonts that matches their corporate identity.

    Alternately, we can all just use a little bit of common sense.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Alternately, we can all just use a little bit of common sense.

      These are lawyers we are talking about here, not grown ups

  23. Paul Cooper

    And what if your name is Magenta?

    A friend of mine - an artist - is called Magenta, and trades under that name. It really is her name, not something adopted for professional purposes! I really do fail to see how something as unspecific as a colour can be trademarked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And what if your name is Magenta?

      Not to mention Magenta De Vine of "Def II" fame.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And what if your name is Magenta?

      "A friend of mine - an artist - is called Magenta, and trades under that name."

      A local one-off fashion shop had that name in the 1970s too.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: And what if your name is Magenta?

      Ah, Rocky Horror!!!!

    4. Dave559 Bronze badge

      Re: And what if your name is Magenta?

      Given that the almighty ZX Spectrum is older than T-Mobile, clearly Sir Clive Sinclair must have first dibs on the rights to the colour…

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not so clear cut....

    now this is not saying what is happening is correct BUT...

    This company claims they are a not in anyway competing in the same fields, but a 2 second search show they are indeed direct competition and offer the same services, both offer MDM as a service.

    https://business.t-mobile.com/resources/mobile-device-management

    https://datajar.co.uk/datajar-mobi/

    1. BoldMan

      Re: Not so clear cut....

      ...and? It still not the same colour!

  25. Stumpy Pepys

    easyMobile

    I remember easyMobile and Orange having a barney over the colour orange. Can't remember how that one was resolved.

  26. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

    I have an idea!

    - Shouldn't Adam Opel (or Peugeot Citroen Group or whomever owns the marque) sue Commodore the company which made the Commodore line of computers?

    - Or should Ferrari sue Morris/BMW for making an iconic Mini Cooper in RED! Imagine, RED!

    EDIT: After all, Apple seemed to have patented the rounded-edge square, so why not?

  27. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

    I am surprised

    that Lyft gets away with their key color if T-Mobile is this militant about it.

    I don't know HOW close it is, but close enough for litigation, I imagine.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: I am surprised

      Why pick on the wolf if you have the sheep to prey on?

  28. sebt27
    Mushroom

    Just asking...

    .... do you have to be already be a total utter **** to get a job in "corporate branding"? Or are you allowed to learn to be a total utter **** on the job?

    Asking for a friend, of course...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Just asking...

      ".... do you have to be already be a total utter **** to get a job in "corporate branding"? Or are you allowed to learn to be a total utter **** on the job?"

      It does appear to be lucrative so I've just placed an order for a copy of "Learn to be a Total and Utter **** for Dummies". I did consider getting the version for intelligent people, but apparently that one doesn't exist. Being a Dummy is a required starting point.

  29. zero-gravitas
    Facepalm

    A tad pedantic

    Even if they just changed an R or G or B by one to human eyes it would be the same colour. I can't say that if I were to see that particular pink I would think "T-Mobile".

    Basically T-Mobile have just made themselves look like massive pedantic bullies who believe their their own brand hype.

    Sad.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: A tad pedantic

      I am trying to think of any colour I assosciate with any brand. There is Coca-Cola red, Selfridge's yellow shopping bags, orange for Sainsbury's and Easy, and um....

      I think I remember shapes better.

  30. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Is this a CYK joke?

    That I can no longer buy Magenta cartridges for my laser printer?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Is this a CYK joke?

      "That I can no longer buy Magenta cartridges for my laser printer?"

      No, but probably explains the price of ink for inkjets!

  31. handleoclast Silver badge

    Those who cannot remember the past

    are condemned to eat Cadbury's Dairy Milk.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Those who cannot remember the past

      Not Dairy Milk.

      I have tasted bellends more chocolate flavoured than that travesty of low cocoa high sugar dross.

      Random;y wonders how many bellends violate colour copyrights.

  32. adnim Silver badge

    Would a defence lawyer ever send a response of just one word?

    Fuckoff

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would a defence lawyer ever send a response of just one word?

      Almost- google Arkell vs Pressdram.

      The same answer, but answered in well-crafted legalese

  33. DrXym Silver badge

    Sounds like T-Mobile want their trademark rescinded

    For being overly broad.

  34. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    I wonder if..

    http://blog.mellowmonk.com/2008/10/mobile-tea-cottage.html

    has received a cease and desist letter yet...

    I see trouble brewing...

  35. scrubber

    Confusion reigns supreme

    Neither company allows me to make or receive calls indoors, neither company allows me to stream Netflix or YouTube reliably and neither company enables me to use all the features on my phone.

    The only difference I can see is T-Mobile charge me £30 per month for the privilege.

  36. jockmcthingiemibobb

    Just once, it'd be nice to get a response from a corporate droid with a brain along the lines of "you're completely correct, this is is an embarrassingly frivolous IP troll and we're going to give our corporate lawyers a damn good bollocking"

  37. ricardian

    As a chap who has seriously defective red/green colour blindness all this talk about magenta (or is it Magenta?) just leaves me somewhat baffled

  38. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Competition of the B R M Y

    You have to understand that the US has so few wireless telcos that they've chosen simple colors to represent themselves. Blue=AT&T, Red=Verizon, Magenta=T-Mobile, Yellow=Sprint.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: Competition of the B R M Y

      I remember the early days of Sprint with the red diamond-like logo.

      And when AT&T (formerly SBC, a "Baby Bell") used a lot of orange, because they inherited it from Cingular (orange/white), which itself was the re-brand of AirTouch (blue/gold), which was spun off one of the (other) Baby Bells. Both SBC and the other BB used AT&T blue for their own original logos.

      (You didn't mention some of the regional carriers, like US Cellular's patriotic trio or MetroPCS purple.)

  39. aaaashy

    no one should be allowed to copyright a COLOUR!!!! pathetic!!!

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      'Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.' - Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man.

  40. Jtom Bronze badge

    Magenta Faced

    It seems that T's attornies are claiming the rights to a specific shade of magenta + or - whatever shade suits them. I hope the courts slap them down, leaving them with a specific shade of magenta.

  41. TeeCee Gold badge

    Must be a German thing.

    Some years ago I was chatting to a bloke whose business was painting aeroplanes.

    He told me that some bunch who had their fleet done in yellow were obliged to have the whole lot repainted at phenomenal cost.

    The yellow they chose turned out to be close enough to Deutsche Post yellow for some rapacious legal trolls to spot an opportunity for profit.

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