Which company do you associate with the magenta colour? There is nothing to cheat. A lot of people will show here the mobile operator T-Mobile. More specifically, a group of operators that belongs to Deutsche Telekom. That is why the lawyers working for the German giant have contacted the British company dataJAR, which uses a similar colour in its logo. The case is quite serious and can end in an expensive court trial.
Each company can register a trademark that will be legally protected. This means that another entrepreneur can not impersonate a competitor and sell goods marked in the same (or confusingly similar) way. However, can one large company claim rights against a given colour? It turns out that in some cases, yes. If the company proves that a given colour has secondary distinctiveness, it can be registered as a trademark. Deutsche Telekom actually registered the colour composition as a trademark. A characteristic shade of orange that is used by Orange is similarly protected. In both cases, this protection applies to telecommunications services.
Will the dataJAR company stop using the magenta color?
The British company dataJAR provides services related to the implementation of Apple devices in companies and educational institutions. This activity is catching up with broadly understood telecommunications. James Ridsdale (founder of dataJAR) now has a hard nut to crack. In an interview with BBC, he stated that his company and T-Mobile use a different shade of pink. In addition, the British company has been operating on the market since 2013 and so far had no problems with the colour used. However, lawyers from Hogan Lovells, who represent the German branch of T-Mobile, believe that there is a conflict of interest here. Some customers might think that the dataJAR company is affiliated with T-Mobile because both companies use a similar colour in their logo.
Lawyers from Hogan Lovells do not send companies that do not have a proven legal basis. That’s why dataJAR needs to consider two options. One of them is rebranding (the problematic colour is used by the company in many places). This process will certainly be expensive. However, the alternative is an expensive dispute in a court that can end in a loss.