T-Mobile is alleging trademark infringement by Aio Wireless for using a shade of magenta too similar to its own, according to Forbes. A subsidiary of AT&T, Aio is a low-cost, pre-paid mobile phone service that is new to the market.
“With full knowledge of T-Mobile’s use of magenta, AT&T’s subsidiary chose – out of all the colors in the spectrum – magenta to advertise, market and promote its wireless services in direct competition with T-Mobile,” reads T-Mobile’s complaint filed with the court. “Aio does not use the orange coverage map of its parent company, but instead uses in its stores and on its website a magenta coverage map that is strikingly similar in color to the one used by T-Mobile.”
On the surface, it would seem as though T-Mobile is suing Aio for trademark infringement and unfair business practices simply because, as Hot News Gator reports, it alleges Aio’s use of magenta is an effort to “attract T-Mobile customers…dilute T-Mobile’s famous magenta color trademark, and to create initial interest confusion as the source or affiliation of AT&T’s subsidiary business.” However, beyond that, T-Mobile believes that Aio was created to mimic its no-contract plans and that the combination of that and the use of a similar color scheme may confuse consumers.
“When consumers see magenta in the wireless world, they think T-Mobile,” a T-Mobile rep told Forbes. “But AT&T, through its subsidiary Aio Wireless, has been trying to get a free ride from T-Mobile’s success as America’s Un-carrier by using magenta in its marketing. We filed this lawsuit to stop them, and to protect T-Mobile’s powerful magenta trademark.”
Aio has denied that it has infringed on T-Mobile or that it is trying to mimic T-Mobile’s branding model.
“T-Mobile needs an art lesson,” said an Aio spokesperson. “Aio doesn’t do magenta.”
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