T-Mobile C And D's Blog For Using Magenta

Citing trademark infringement concern, T-mobile is demanding that gadget blog site Engadget Mobile stop using magenta in its logo. In a letter posted sent to Engadget, T-Mobile pronounced, “Based on the different character of the goods and services offered by the Deusche Telekom Group and Weblogs, we assume that it is in the best interest of both of our entities to ensure that the particular services can be clearly separated and that consumers are not confused…” And it’s not an early April Fool’s joke, they say. It’s not totally unreasonable, there is precedent for this sort of thing. Like the time T-Mobile sued a small a book-on-demand-publisher for having magenta in its logo.

Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile demands Engadget Mobile discontinue using the color magenta [Engadget] (Thanks to Tristan!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. hypnotik_jello says:

    uhmmm. deutsche bags?

  2. Rando says:

    Yeah… I’d like to see T-Mobile take this to court and be thrown out while being laughed at.

  3. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    On a completely unrelated note, The Ohio State University sues Deutsche Telecom AG for using the color gray.

  4. modenastradale says:

    Wow. It’s not even a similar color. Corporations have gone absolutely haywire, and must be reined in.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Typeface is different.

    Very similar to what would happen if AT&T tried to sue Ford for using the color blue, or if Verizon tried to sue MTX loudspeakers or Pizza Hut for their black and red themes.

  6. hypnotik_jello says:

    oh, and uh, as far as I know, DT hasn’t actually sued Weblogs, Inc, yet. way to sensationalize the topic, yet again.

  7. Craig says:

    In similar news, Coldplay is suing the sun for using the color yellow.

  8. homerjay says:

    From their most recent shareholders meeting:
    “We need to improve our bottom line but we’re too lazy and dumb to try and find new revenue streams so we’re just going to do what we always do.
    We’ll flip the coin. We either raise prices or we sue somebody.”

  9. D-Bo says:

    I remember reading a writeup on T-Mobile’s trademark on Magenta at ColourLovers and the opinion was basically settled that as long as another cell phone company came into a T-Mobile market and used the color to the point of confusing the general consumer, that there was no way this would fly.

    That said, this effort is ridiculous and I hope in addition to prevailing Engadget makes T-Mobile sorry (financially) that they ever persued this assinine course of action.

  10. zorville says:

    The real problem here is that color blind T-mobile users will now not be able to distinguish between the logos unless they also can read English and tell the letter T from the letter M, which we now know the T-mobile legal department cannot do.

  11. Parting says:

    I’m not brain dead, I can see the difference.

    Maybe they should sue Barbie, because dolls are sold

  12. jimconsumer says:

    I always wanted to receive one of these ridiculous letters from a ridiculous attorney working for a ridiculous company… just so I could take a big black sharpie, write “FUCK OFF” in block letters, and mail it back to them.

  13. matt7718 says:

    Engadget is basically “in” with every tech company there is. Engadgets people will call T-Mobile’s people and this will be over in a week.

    If not, T-Mobile is screwed. Engadget is a powerful force in the tech blog world.

  14. camille_javal says:

    this annoys me so much. I’m looking at becoming a soft IP (not patent) attorney, and, seriously? Seriously? There’s no way this would stand up to scrutiny under the Lanham Act (particularly since T-Mobile admits they provide two very different services – you know, how we *somehow* manage to know that Delta Dental, Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets aren’t related?).

    Maybe it’s because they’re German. I know very little of German IP law, except that they’re the main reason we have the ridiculously long copyright terms now. (Germany had the longest term, so the EU countries rounded up to that; the US extended to meet the EU standard, so US authors would get reciprocated protection – it wasn’t actually about Disney, in fact.)

    My T-Mobile contract just expired. This bullshit is enough to make me move (although I’m terrified of all cell companies now – I read this blog too much).

  15. ChuckECheese says:

    I’m just registered the trademark for blue, and patented shiny.

  16. Noiddog says:

    And in a related story…. Blues Clues, a popular kids show on Nickelodeon has been sued by T Mobile for having a character named Magenta. A spokesperson for T Mobile has released this statement.

    “We feel its important for the consumer to know the difference between a cell phone company, and a fake stuffed cartoon dog. We believe that the average consumer will have a difficult time separating the two.”

  17. Mr. Gunn says:

    hypnotik_jello: You win one internet!

  18. Sam2k says:

    @matt7718: Plus, since Weblogs Inc is owned by AOL, AOL could just launch an EIMCB, if you will, and tell the world to stop using T-Mobile.

  19. itsallme says:

    engadget itself did a whole story about this exact legal issue a few months ago


  20. TechnoDestructo says:

    I have redesigned the logo.


  21. TechnoDestructo says:

    I’d settle for any company that shows a pattern of frivolous trademark lawsuits (Monster) losing protection for any trademarks it owns.

  22. legwork says:

    I would have thought that, with all the time they spend designing great products and innovating the future of communications, they wouldn’t have time to waste on nonsense like this.

    Whoops, got it backwards. Sorry…

  23. Zain says:

    What is with the extremely misleading headlines lately? The only thing that has happened so far is that T-Mobile has sent a letter.

  24. jarchie219 says:

    I have often wondered why Motorola and Williams ( pinball maker ) didn’t sue each other over their logos. They look very much like inversions of each other. I guess that both companies were busy busy designing and manufacturing good products to get involved in petty bickering.

  25. henwy says:


    It’s the Henny Penny effect. Gets people more involved. Just saying you got sent a letter dosn’t quite have the pazzaz of being sued.

  26. CapitalC says:

    I wonder if Flickr can get in on this because Engadget stole their Cyan & Magenta theme…? :rolleyes:

  27. TechnoDestructo says:

    I’ve had no trouble with Virgin Mobile. They’re on Sprint’s network, so quality of service could depend on where you live, but they’re (AFAIK) strictly non-contract, with prices comparable to regular old Sprint.

    The down side is their automated customer service robot recordings are done with this really obnoxious, forced, “youthful and cool” voice.

    That’s actually the biggest down side that I’ve encountered so far.

  28. durkzilla says:

    The letter (posted on engadget) actually sounds pretty reasonable, if you ignore the massive stupidity behind their reasoning. It isn’t a lawsuit, simply a request to set things right (in T-Mobile’s opinion). They even offer to help out with a plan to phase out old crap.

    Now, the really interesting thing that I wasn’t aware of (even being a regular engadget reader) is the affiliation of engadget and the “AOL and Time Warner families”…

  29. vividblurry says:

    T-Mobile needs to focus on not sucking.

  30. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    Again, the editors have made stuff up. DT is not suing anyone yet. Please don’t go making a bad situation worse by rumor mongering. Thank you!

  31. Psicosis says:

    Wouldn’t be the first time there has been a lawsuit over colour..


  32. jesse2008 says:

    One question; why do companies hate getting sued over something dumb but will sue each other in a heart beat? Give me a break T-Mobile!!! April’s fool or not.

  33. Buran says:

    @Mr. Gunn: Hey, I was using that!

  34. clocker says:

    In related news…
    I have sent a C & D notice to T-mobile based on the fact that I was using the English language before they were and feel they are unfairly trading on my communications franchise.

    Next month all you T-mobilites can expect your bills in Urdu…

  35. WraithSama says:

    T-Mobile does not have a valid legal claim here since, as far as I’m aware, the two must be in the same industry for the law to apply. This clearly isn’t the case.

  36. Trai_Dep says:

    Damn. I told Endgadget they should have used Hot Pink instead.

  37. RagingTowers says:

    Damn you CMYK!!! DAMN YOU!!!

  38. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    This just in…

    I patent and trademark for the middle dots have just been approved by the U.S. Patent Office, with 100 other countries following suit.

    T Mobile is REALLY FUCKED now!

  39. Trai_Dep says:

    Breaking news flash: the estate of Samuel Morse filed suit this morning for T-Mobile’s infringing use of Morse’s “s”.

  40. AMetamorphosis says:

    Since when are colors allowed to be copyrighted ?

  41. Chairman-Meow says:

    All your Teal are belong to us.

  42. Kevino says:

    I would change it right away! Who wants to be associated with T-Mobile?

  43. crapple says:

    Just out of curiosity I took the logo’s into illustrator to see the CMYK percentages…not really that close T-mobile…sorry.


  44. morganlh85 says:

    Their case is not valid if you ask me. T-Mobile has trademarked/copyrighted that EXACT shade of magenta they use in their logo, and it’s clear from the image that the offending logo is NOT using that exact shade of magenta. The logo doesn’t even resemble T-Mobile’s for them to have a case on that point.

  45. FF_Mac says:

    This just in!

    Coca-Cola is suing every fire department in the world for having trucks painted red with a white stripe on it.

    Now companies are trying to copyright a COLOR? What’s next…letters?

  46. IrisMR says:

    I’m getting sick of companies “owning” colors. Get over it folks, the color spectrum is © the Sun, our star… Or ©whatever lamp there is in the room. Not yours.

  47. CarnageSIS says:

    Where is Magenta Corp, with it’s magenta company logo when you need one?

  48. whitjm5 says:

    yep. Not the same color.

  49. Jetts says:

    @TechnoDestructo: My company has trademarked frivolous lawsuits and will now begin suing Monster, T-Mobile, the RIAA, and Gibson for encroaching on our IP.

  50. KJones says:

    As ridiculous as this is, some court might listen if they shop around long enough.

    A hockey team (16-18 year olds) in a city I lived in for a short time was sued by an NHL team over their uniform “similarities”. The small-town team had white jerseys with red and blue stripes around the waist in similar colours and width to the NHL team.

    The courts upheld it and the small team was forced to change their jerseys despite the two teams logos having no similarities at all, and nobody knew of the smaller team outside of their regional league.

  51. KJones says:

    @Psicosis: Wouldn’t be the first time there has been a lawsuit over colour..


    If having similar colours on a similar product is the basis for a lawsuit, one has to wonder why CocaCola (owners of Sprite) and Pepsi (owners of 7up) don’t sue each other for having green bottles for their clear products.

    And would they sue anyone new who also used green bottles to sell a clear soft drink?

  52. chartrule says:

    the patent office needs to give its collective head a shake if they are allowing colours to be patented

  53. chartrule says:

    sorry i didn’t realize that KJones didn’t close off on the italics

    closed now

  54. chartrule says:

    should of closed now closed ?

  55. ? graffiksguru says:

    I got dibs on black

  56. TPS Reporter says:

    I have the letter T (in any color) now trademarked.

  57. Trai_Dep says:

    I call dibs on patenting italic.

    KJones, chartrule, graffiksguru and MrBill38, you suckers OWE.
    And future commentators, you’ll hear from my lawyers by end of day.

  58. Pro-Pain says:

    That color isn’t even close. What a rediculous situation. I think T-Mobile should be sued for sucking.

  59. modenastradale says:

    Wow, Consumerist – can we please BAN italics? Thanks!

  60. trujunglist says:

    Engadget’s site is awesomely pinktastic now.

  61. trujunglist says:


    As the CEO of Boldly Bolding Bolders Inc. I must inform you that you’ve infringed upon our trademark bolding of the word “italic” (notice the bolding) and will be hearing from our legal department.

  62. KJones says:


    Try again, chump. Look at the page’s source.

    “The Consumerist”‘s scripts changed my closing tag.

  63. taka2k7 says:

    solution is for ALL blogs to start using magenta.

  64. Trai_Dep says:

    @trujunglist: Hmm.