Deutsche Telekom, owner of the T-Mobile networks, is continuing its ten-year legal battle to protect the colour of its logo with a case before the European Courts against its Scando rival TeliaSonera.
The German company lays claim to the colour magenta, having put its towel down on ‘RAL 4010 Telemagenta’ as an EU trademark in 2000. Since then, it has had a drawn-out, litigious history of taking issue with anyone who dares encroach on its trademarked patch of the spectrum.
The latest legal volley at the EU courts follows several years of efforts by Deutsche Telekom to browbeat TeliaSonera into surrendering its particular shade of pink.
Deutsche is disgruntled the EU’s trademark office didn’t reject outright a TeliaSonera challenge against DT’s colour trademark ‘212787’, but just closed the case when the Scandinavian rival withdrew its complaint. DT had been holding out for something more definitive to weild in its ongoing case in the Danish courts against TeliaSonera.
But DT isn’t the only company with legal protection for its corporate hue.
The EU’s trademark database lists hundreds of ‘colour’ registrations, alongside the usual brand names and logos.
Among the colour registrations, fellow telecoms company Telefonica has lodged for European intellectual property rights on three delicate nuances of turquoise, while O2 has a graded blue trademark.
It’s enough to make you see red. That’s if your specific shade of fury isn’t already trademarked by Deutsche Bahn or Banco Santander…