Two years ago, AT&T and T-Mobile were buddy-buddy as the two carriers campaigned to get approval for their proposed merger. Fast-forward to today, though, and the matters between the nation's two largest GSM providers have taken a turn for the litigious.
It's been discovered that T-Mobile has filed a lawsuit against AT&T prepaid subsidiary Aio Wireless for alleged trademark infringement and unfair business practices. According to T-Mobile, Aio Wireless has chosen a color for its logo, in-store displays and coverage maps that's too close to T-Mo's trademarked magenta in an effort to "attract T-Mobile customers…dilute T-Mobile’s famous magenta color trademark, and to create initial interest confusion as to the source or affiliation of AT&T’s subsidiary’s business.” T-Mobile is asking that Aio change its logo color and hand over some cash for the trouble that it's caused.
In response to the suit, Aio Wireless has told AllThingsD that "T-Mobile needs an art lesson," adding that "Aio doesn't do magenta."
Each major U.S. carrier is usually associated with its own color, with Verizon getting red, AT&T blue, Sprint yellow and T-Mobile's being magenta. T-Mo has been identified by its trademark magenta hue for years, even dressing its spokesperson Carly in various magenta-colored outfits, which explains why the carrier is going after AT&T's Aio Wireless subsidiary.
Whether or not the color of Aio's logo does indeed infringe upon T-Mobile's trademark is up to folks with more legal experience than I, but that doesn't mean that we can't play the role of an armchair judge. What do you think of T-Mobile's claims? Does the hue of Aio's logo look too similar to T-Mobile's magenta?