I bet you recognize the bold pink “T” as the symbol for T-Mobile. It stands out both because it is a single letter “word” and the unexpected T-Mobile magenta in the crowded cellular communications marketplace.

Deutsche Telekom registered a trademark for T-Mobile magenta for mobile telephone materials. When you here mobile telephone materials, you may think that sounds limited however when Intel introduced magenta in the Centrino logo the legal teams of Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile were quick to make them aware of the breadth of the trademark protection. Intel didn’t challenge the trademark and instead chose an alternate color.

Deutsche Telekom also filed a lawsuit in the Danish court saying that Telia had no right to use the T-Mobile magenta color because the German company has invested in building its branding around that color for many years.

The Danish Eastern Regional High Court ruled that Telia and DT don’t compete directly in the Danish market. They also said there was some doubt that they were using the same hue. The court overturned the injunction DT sought against Telia and to add insult to injury slapped DT with an order to pay 1.5 million kroner ($316,188) to Telia for their court costs and attorney fees. Ouch!

While you might not recognize the Telia brand in the U.S., you might recall Deutsche Telekom has regularly taken steps to keep competitors from using T-Mobile magenta in their branding.

Feature Image Credit: iStockphoto

Read Time: < 1 minute