Americans may often be reminded of major companies simply by seeing the colors used in their advertising. Whether it be Nike's black check or McDonald's "golden arches," these organizations are entitled to some protection because these color schemes are associated with a specific trademark.
We can now throw T-Mobile into the mix of businesses that have legal ties to a color: it recently won a case against Aio Wireless, an AT&T subsidiary, over its use of the color magenta, PC Magazine reported. When Aio opened last year, it was offering similar services to T-Mobile: cell phone plans with no contract while using a similar, plum color on all of its custom print displays.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas used the eight digits of confusion to see if T-Mobile's trademarked color was in danger. Scenarios include strength of trademark, similarities in design, evidence of confusion and Aio Wireless's intent, according to court documents.
Once the court evaluated these eight factors, it became clear that "T-Mobile's magenta mark Pantone Process Magenta) is eligible for protection under the Lanham Act. T-Mobile is that mark's senior user," Judge Lee Rosenthal wrote.
Now, wireless providers that wish to use shades of magenta on their vinyl banners or signs may want to reconsider other colors. Doing this in advance can reduce the chance of a future lawsuit and avoid the need to spend money on a revamped marketing campaign.
T-Mobile 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," its press release reads.
Most businesses that wish to create a compelling display shouldn't be concerned about T-Mobile's case because if you're not a wireless provider, it is okay to use magenta. Reach out to a custom print services provider to see how colorful graphics can enhance your presence.