Dear T-Mobile: You’ve Come A Long Way, Don’t Sue Over A Color

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As a long time fan of T-Mobile, I’ve supported T-Mobile through thick and thin, acquisition rumors, AT&T buyout attempts and quarter after quarter of disappointing financials. Still, I love the little Magenta carrier that could but another lawsuit over the “Magenta” color just seems both unnecessary and ridiculous.

T-Mobile is building up good will right now thanks in part to their first positive financial quarter and CEO John Legere’s bravado. There’s little question that whatever Legere is doing is working as the company is firing on all cylinders and Simple Choice appears to be a hit.

That’s what makes this whole Aio Wireless lawsuit a little hard to swallow, it just seems unnecessary and dare I say…evil. A commenter on this Verge article put the two shades side by side and it seems pretty clear they are not going to be mistaken. T-Mobile can’t go around suing everyone who might have a pinkish logo…and attacking AT&T like this just seems like kicking at the shins and then running away.


Left-Aio Right-T-Mobile

You’re better than this T-Mobile, let your Simple Choice plans walk the walk and speak volumes about the company. /End rant.



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  • Wilma Flintstone

    Exactly. Suing over a color makes them look very petty and absurd.

    This seems to be primarily because AIO is with AT&T. Even so, it is very petty and I hope Tmobile doesn’t stoop to this level. This is something I would expect from Apple’s lawsuits (nothing against apple but they have sued over some ridiculous things and for some reason actually won those cases).

    Hopefully they change their minds on this.

  • AAX

    In their defence though, I saw an aio commerical and they did have multiple shades of magenta. i honestly did think it was a T-mo commercial at first.

  • Williejackbrainer

    Agreed David! This does seems like a waste of time,resources and money.

  • Ordeith

    The image should also show the dimmed T-Mobile color, just turn the brightness down a little on their color and see what you get.

    Hex Value of AIO: 960051
    Hex Value of a dimmed T-Mobile: 96004D

    I can see where they are coming from, though I still think trying to protect a color is silly.

  • Mark

    AFAIK, T-Mobile has a trademark on their particular shade of magenta in the area of telecommunications. The thing is, in order to maintain a trademark you have to actively protect it, so if they let someone slide they risk losing it entirely. IANAL, but from what I’ve come to understand trademark law is pretty much built around enforcement-by-litigation. (and if you think TMo is the only one who will do this, try creating a soft drink with a logo in Pantone 484 and you’ll quickly receive a letter from some lawyers in Atlanta).

    • Aleks

      While it may be meaningless to David, I understand T-Mobiles stance. Wireless corporations like T-Mobile are in a very competitive business so they have to protect their identity. If somebody makes a drink in that color is not a good analyzation simply because a soft drink is not going pose a threat to T-Mobile. However, a subsidiary like AIO does as they mimic their colors and plans in hopes of confusing pontential customers into thinking they are getting T-Mobile or a similar related product. It’s a no brainer. T-Mobile Fight!!!

      • Pantone 484 is a shade of red that Coca-Cola uses. He was saying they would be the ones sending a letter if somebody made a soft drink with that color in their logo. It was just a side comment saying other companies would do the same thing to protect their identity if threatened by a direct competitor.

        • Tina

          Maybe they should sue Pantene? Sure makes my hair so shiny. Lol

      • Not meaningless at all to me, I’m very supportive of T-Mobile defending their trademarks. The timing is suspicious to me, that’s all.

        • metis

          timing? like when someone potentially infringes on their IP? maybe they should sue in 6 months when it can be argued that they didn’t defend it?

    • Mirad77

      You just laid it out in the best words.

    • pseudoswede

      Here is another example…

      “[…] said the Komen foundation sent her a letter asking her to stop using the phrase “for a cure” in their title and to never use the color pink in conjunction with their fundraising.”

  • Chris

    Do some more image search in Google and don’t just compare Website logo to a website logo (of course it’s darker). As someone has mentioned below, some pictures or ads that Aio has; they were using multiple shades of this color – lighter color results in? *ding ding ding*. As someone mentioned below, the Aio color is just a bit darker than T-mo and on the same range. So if used in ads with multiple shades, a lighter color results in t-mobile shade.

    If I didn’t know anything about this and I saw Aio’s ad, I would assume Aio is affiliated with T-mo. I’d post those pics here, but I’d just let you do the research on your own.

  • John

    The question isn’t “When placed side by side, can someone tell the difference between the two shades of magenta?” but “Are some people going to assume AIO is associated with T-Mobile because of the use of a color similar to T-Mobile’s magenta to promote a similar service.” The answer to that question is definately yes, as shown by other comments on this article. If T-Mobile doesn’t get AIO to change their color, they run the risk of people no-longer assuming magenta+cell-phone means T-Mobile, which could weaken the brand. If T-Mobile was suing a company that has nothing to do with the wireless industry, then I would be right there with everyone saying this is petty, but AIO is a competing wireless company, and in the wireless world, magenta means T-Mobile.

    • I don’t disagree, but the lawsuit itself and Legere’s “crayola” tweets seem petty.

      • Ordeith

        AIO is run by AT&T. Why didn’t they just use Cyan? it would seem more appropriate. :)

      • ogopogo

        Have to disagree with you there. Building brand loyalty requires that you protect yourself from anyone that is the gray area of infringement. It’s not really a petty tweet. I surmise that he is saying that this is the best that AT&T could come up with to counter T-Mobile’s recent surge – They are, essentially, grasping at straws (in this case, magenta crayons).

      • S. Ali

        Maybe you should stop writing articles on legal issues in which you have no expertise commenting on just so you can get more ad-views. I suggest you remove this article immediately. This is a disservice to your readers. This is “Nancy Grace” level journalism.

        • AndroidProfit


        • kalel33

          He makes money on clicks and that’s his livelihood. This is a news BLOG, not an award winning news organization. Have you seen the much more sensationalist reporting from the most popular tech sites on the web?

    • Deibid

      Does someone assume that when they walking into Carl’s Jr they will mistakenly think that they are in McDonald’s because both signs are yellow and red?

      • Chris

        No, but branding is branding and color matters.

        Here are some examples of branding lawsuits int he past – color based.

        • kalel33

          That article actually disproved your point. Did you read the outcomes. One with Cambell’s soup suing another food company over trademarked colors that weren’t exact, had this written: “If they may thus monopolize red in all of its shades, the next manufacturer may monopolize orange in all of its shades and the next yellow in the same way.” Obviously the list of colors will soon run out. Cambell’s suit was thrown out, just like this suit will be.

      • Jose Hernandez

        Carl’s Jr and McDonald’s both use the color yellow, but at the same time, they also have “very” different logos. The difference with this issue is the use of the color magenta by another wireless competitor that “could potentially” confuse “some” customers in to thinking they are dealing with another company.

        T-Mobile is not just suing anyone that uses the color Magenta, They are being very specific on this instance, and I think they are correct by doing so.

        • Deibid

          Yellow Arches and Yellow Star? If the point is to not be confused, this is the same principle. A white-colored “T” with a magenta color compared to a white-colored “AIO” with a magenta color.

          I see what you are saying, but I don’t agree. I guess Honda shoudl sue Hyuandai for the “H” symbol inside a polygon shape. Office Depot should sure Office Max because they both have office in the name and they are both office supply stores.

        • Chris

          Actually, they can if they want to. Chipotle has recently settled with Jack in the Box over the use of the word “Chipotle” in their marketing.

          As absurd as it seems, T-mobile has their right to sue.

        • Jose Hernandez

          I can also see what you are saying. We can agree to disagree.

        • Office Depot and OfficeMax are merging, so that’s irrelevant (though their logos look totally different). Honda and Hyundai use different styles for the H. Honda’s is a straight H with edges extended into a polygon, whereas Hyundai slants and curves the H and puts it inside of an oval.

      • guest

        I think the difference here is that those are already well established brands. Aio is a newcomer, so one could think it was created by T-Mobile because of the similar color and Aio gets a potential T-Mobile customer in the door. And this confusion is compounded by the similar price plans and offerings.

      • AndroidProfit

        LOL no doubt!

    • AndroidProfit

      You would really truly need to be dumb as a rock to be that confused.

      • Tom

        So most people would be confused.

      • John

        On the contrary, you would need to be “dumb as a rock” to go to AIO’s website and have your first thought be “This company is probably owned by AT&T.” Why? Because the color scheme is nothing like AT&T uses. On the other hand, it would be perfectly reasonable to go to AIO’s website and have your first though be “This company is probably owned by T-Mobile.” Why? Because the the website uses magenta all over the place. No, it isn’t the same shade, but it is way more reasonable to assume that a T-Mobile subsidiary is using magenta than an AT&T subsidiary. Nobody is arguing that people will think the AIO site is the main site for T-Mobile propper, but the problem is that people are probably going to assume they are affiliated; at least until they are told otherwise.

        • I don’t disagree, but I also don’t think now is the right time for a T-Mobile lawsuit. They have such momentum and this will be a public suit and I think it just doesn’t serve their overall purposes right now.

  • Mirad77

    As much as I agree with every word you just wrote on this article, I do still think that you David (off all tech blogers) should be the last person to write this.
    I know, but think carefully of what I just said before bashing as you know am in no way a troll.

    • I’m not writing it from a legal standpoint, only from the standpoint of how it might play out in the real world from a PR perspective. Will customers think this is petty and look down on T-Mobile in light of their consistent barrage of AT&T attacks lately? The timing is suspicious, that’s my concern.

      • Mirad77

        I understand and you make a valid point here. Also Look at it this way, TMUS came up with the Uncarrier and immediately the other guys came up with similar things even though all of them are as bad as the Carrier’s. Legere and his boys and had Twitter and ads to fight back but here there is a real world legal fight, one that is not the best to fight but they have so the other guys know where the line is drown.

  • tmo_employee

    Part of the reason may be most aio locations are old metro pcs locations

  • g2a5b0e

    I disagree with you on this one, David. You say T-Mobile just can’t go around suing everyone with a pinkish logo. That’s not what they’re doing. It’s not like they’re suing Barbie, Playboy, Victoria Secret’s Pink line, or the Breast Cancer Awareness society. They’re suing Aio, another wireless company that has decided to use a hue similar to their trademarked version. What’s the point of trademarking a color if you’re not going to protect your property? And also, let’s be honest. You think this is completely innocent? Companies spend hundreds & thousands of hours coming up with marketing schemes & strategies. AT&T clearly had T-Mobile in mind when they came up with this color & the reason was obviously to try to possibly confuse customers. Now, it probably won’t work for most. But, even if they can pull 1 out of 10, that’s money they’re making that T-Mobile’s not. I think it’s bullshit. I side with T-Mobile on this one.

    • kalel33

      All heavy equipment machines are yellow in color, just not the trademarked CAT color that is owned by Caterpillar or there’s quite a few green lawnmowers, just not John Deere green. You can have a similar color as a competitor, just not the exact color that is trademarked.

  • SkyPira

    just so you know, Aio uses multiple shades of their purple. In some of their ads, the color is light enough to match T-Mobile’s. This isn’t some random coincidence, AT&T knows T-Mobile’s colors and rate plans and recreated it with a subsidiary company that’s trying to fool consumers into thinking they’re another company.

    secondly, it’s not T-Mo USA that’s suing AT&T. It’s Deutsche Telekom that’s starting the lawsuit. T-Mo USA had no say in the matter.

  • Pat Fitzpatrick

    All of this is pointless if T Mobile doesn’t improve their network coverage, and fast. I changed from Verizon to T Mobile to save money, but its almost like being back in the Stone Ages in terms of coverage.

    • I’m hoping they do everything possible to expand their network soon. That’s really the only thing holding them back. People use verizon because they stay connected almost everywhere. It would be great to see T-Mo get their 3G/4G data network closer to the size of Verizon’s, especially along the highways between cities.

      • ssl48

        And when the improve said coverage their prices will be the same as Verizon so which do you want?

        • I don’t see why. If they make the network bigger, they can gain more customers. If they can get enough new customers to compensate for the cost of maintaining a larger network, the prices can stay the same. No?

  • GwapoAko

    I believe Tmobile is right in suing.. That AIO ATT color is confusing customers!!!

    • kev

      Yeah to idiots who can’t read.

  • Guest

    Their Magenta and white lettering is the confusing part. If it were any other color combination I’d see a reason to let it slide. Understanding copywrite laws, Magenta had a good argument.

    • Jose Hernandez

      I think so as well. It is not the LOGO they are suing for, it is the use of the Magenta, that in my opinion, is being used in the hopes of creating confusion.

      I can see the colors and tell there is a difference, but not everyone will be able to do this. Some people might make the mistake of joining AT&T’s new offering thinking they were dealing with T-Mobile.

      I am not happy they filed a law suit about it. But, I can honestly see the reasoning behind it.

    • Tina

      But then, we’d hope one can decipher the difference in reading… Aio… TMOBILE. Not very confusing.

      • Paul

        “Rounded Corners.” Pretty much the same situation. I KNOW what the iPhone looks like, and how it difference from a Samsung Galaxy phone. Apparently, the judge couldn’t.

        Legere is going a lil over the top with it, but the color combo would be confusing to a customer.

    • kalel33

      If you had actually understood copyright laws then you’d have known this has nothing to do with copyrights at all. It’s a trademark issue.

  • Garret Hussak

    I have a few big problems with David’s stance in this post.

    First – “T-Mobile can’t go around suing everyone who might have a pinkish logo” – absolutely correct. But, should they go around suing COMPETITORS who are using the EXACT SAME hue as their trademark (see #2) – yes.

    Second – HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness/Brilliance). The HSB value for T-Mobile’s Magento is H: 329°, S: 100%, B: 89%. The HSB value for the Aio logo? H: 329°, S: 100%, B: 59%. So what does that really mean? T-Mobile’s and Aio’s colors are separated by 30% brightness. IT’S THE EXACT SAME “COLOR” WITH 30% MORE BLACK! Point being, it’s an obvious rip-off.

    Third – Even if the first two aren’t enough to convince you – take a look at these images posted by a marketing and consulting firm helping Aio celebrate their launch in Orlando: Tell me you don’t see Magento popping up all over.

  • 21stNow

    Two things here. One is that we have to consider that in the US, not everyone reads English well. This is true for some native-born residents as well as immigrants. Colors and logo shapes are what differentiate a product many times, unfortunately.

    Second, I think that Apple’s lawsuits helped Samsung’s sales of their Galaxy S line. I heard more than one person say something along the lines of if Apple is going through this much trouble to sue Samsung, the products must be mostly the same and maybe I should try it. Now even though the players are in different positions, as T-Mobile is suing but could use the customer boost, you still have a situation where the smaller company could benefit from being seen as similar to the larger company or AT&T in this case.

    • James

      Do you make shit up on a regular basis?

  • DavidMadeMeWantToPost

    David I disagree. Its an obvious move by AT&T to push Tmobile’s buttons. You sound as if you think AT&T innocently chose this color. I don’t think it’s petty, but I do think it might have been a mistake to sue because now the name of Aio is being spoken everywhere. I’ll admit that’s a good play on AT&T’s part and T-Mobile played right into their trap.

    On comparing the color side by side I don’t think this reflects a real life scenario. Also, no one else in the wireless industry uses pink /magenta, so when I see pink (and I don’t care what shade)I think T-Mobile. Same as how when I saw a virgin mobile store my first impression was “must be from verizon”. (I know it’s not)

  • Nick Martinez

    AT&T would have done it to them. Plain and simple. AT&T does not need ANY extra help with sales, yet they’re being sneaky and selfish using a color that TMO has EVERY right to sue over. I full heartedly agree with the two comments below. Color is everything. and someone who doesnt speak English as their first language, or someone who just doesnt know the difference will not understand that it’s a different company.

    • AndroidProfit

      Just because one speaks a different language DOESN’T MEAN they are dumb.

      I came across AIO before John’s meltdown and I didn’t automatically associate it at all with T-Mobile.

      • Paul

        The language barrier doesn’t imply stupidity. When I see a yellow arch I immediatly associate McDonalds. Magenta and white = T-Mobile. It’s a color association.
        Most of us that are very familiar with the details won’t see the similarities. The “rounded courners” lawsuit pretty much showed that anperson might mistake a Galaxy S phone for an iPhone because the rounded corners where similar, which is ridiculous to me. Sadly, that’s how the judge “saw” it.

  • Spanky

    John Legere’s fixation with AT&T is becoming borderline unhealthy, to say the least.

    • Paul

      I am starting to agree. I want to see Magenta take some shots at Verizon. Otherwise, we found the kid in the middle to pick on.

  • Todd

    The way that copyright law is written in the US, you really have to sue for alleged copyright infringements. Otherwise, you could lose the copyright because you never tried to enforce it. So, if they let this one go by, and another, and another, then a judge could say that TMO Magenta is no longer copyrighted.

  • noc007

    If there were more similarities beyond just the color, I could see them needing to litigate to protect their brand. Just the color…this is working towards the other times they’ve sued over the use of magenta before.

    Personally I think this is prime opportunity to publicly mock AT&T for trying to look like T-Mobile.

  • Spanky

    Look up “List of United States wireless communications service providers” on Wikipedia, then click on each company’s link. Not surprisngly, many of the companies utilize the same colors for their logos. One good example is Blue Wireless.
    Really, this lawsuit just makes Legere’s T-Mobile seem desperate.

    • Paul

      Blue wireless doesn’t look anything like the AT&T logo.

      • Spanky

        And AIO doesn’t look anything like the T-Mobile logo.

        • Paul

          Magenta box and white lettering inside…pretty damn close.

  • philyew

    I have mixed feelings about this. While this action may seem frivolous, there is no indication that – as you put it – T-Mobile is “go[ing] around suing everyone who might have a pinkish logo”. This is a response to one company which is clearly, by every conceivable definition, a direct competitor in some of T-Mobile’s top markets.

    When you use the Verge illustration to juxtapose the colors, it looks like an unnecessary action by T-Mobile, but in the real world consumers won’t have the convenience of such an illustration to decode the signage.

    With TM heavily invested in Magenta to distinguish the company in a market already confused with nationals, regionals, MNVOs, pre-paids, and post-posts – any attempt by a competitor to gain some advantage from that investment, no matter how small, should be rebuffed.

    • Not to mention, T-Mobile is obligated by law to sue for any and all potential trademark violations. Otherwise, T-Mobile can lose it. That is why some companies sue even when they don’t want to.

      For the same reason, Deutsche Telekom sent that notice to Engadget in 2008.

  • Spanky

    I wonder if Ultra Mobile is next? Google their website, as I’d rather not post a link and have it stuck in moderation.

    • John

      At least Ultra is a T-Mobile MVNO. T-Mobile still makes money from them. Ultra’s use of purple may suggest to some that they are affiliated with T-Mobile, but that assumption would be correct. AIO is not affiliated in any way with T-Mobile; they are affiliated with a direct competitor, and that is the problem

  • ben

    Sure, when you put the two colors next to each other and ask which one is T-Mobile most people will get it right. But, if you just put up the color on the left and ask “Yes or no, is this T-Mobile?” you’d be surprised how many people say yes.

    • itsjustaname

      I don’t know which color is Tmobile. Actually, I don’t really care either.

  • AndroidProfit

    How many colors John think he can claim to own? This is ridiculous. Those colors aren’t even close.

    • Alex Harrington

      You sound like you have some intellect. Answer this then, why did the World Wild Life foundation sue Vince McMahon about the World Wrestling Federation and their logo? What they think they own any abbreviation of wwf ;it’s only letters? I am mean wrestling and saving animal lives are so very similar to each other right? I implore you or anyone to respond against the facts. Bottom line is that the company is now World Wrestling Entertainment aka WWE!

      • kalel33

        Because they used the exact same trademarked letters, simple. If AIO used the color RAL 4010, which is trademarked by T-mobile, then they’d have a winnable suit. This is just reaching.

      • Mark

        the WWE actually lost (or settled) TWO trademark lawsuits, which is why the fine print of much of their printed material (the magazine, etc.) says or said, “‘Hulk Hogan’, ‘Hulkster’ and ‘Hulkamania’ are trademarks of Marvel Comics…”

        The transition from WWF to WWE also worked conveniently for them, as it happened shortly after the point that they were forced to reveal that the matches weren’t strictly competitive.

        • Alex Harrington

          You obviously missed the point that was being made. So, many read other people’s writings and just respond to certain portions. Nevermind, saying anymore is obviously a waste of my time.

    • guidomus_maximus

      Look… me and the McDonald’s people got this little misunderstanding. See, they’re McDonald’s… I’m McDowell’s. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.

    • metis

      actually, they’re almost exactly the same color with a variation in value (darkness).

  • kev

    A lot of T-Mobile fanboys up in here.

    • Paul

      A lot of people seem to think they know about copywite and trademark rules.

    • guidomus_maximus

      Should I point out the obvious, or just let him wonder why this site is filled with T-Mobile fanboys.

      • g2a5b0e

        Thank you! What a dumb comment!

      • TmoSamsungMan

        Lmfao!!!!!! What the hell is wrong with these people? Lol, guess is the gmo and watching Miley Cyrus lol.

    • TmoSamsungMan

      God your so stupid. Lmfao!!

      • kev

        Oh the irony. It’s “You’re” not your. Idiot.

  • kev

    T-Mobile is going to get laugh out of court. T-Mobile is the same idiot company that tried to sue engadget for using the color pink.

    • Chilehead

      …and what color is Engadget using now?

      • Guest

        The same one they were using before the lawsuit… Engadget uses pink for their mobile website.

        • Guest

          The difference here, of course, is that Engadget is using a similar color for a mobile technology related area of their website. AIO is using it to compete with another carrier.

        • kalel33

          Similar but not the color that was trademarked. That’s what makes a difference in court. You can’t trademark an entire spectrum of a color.

  • HangmanSwingset

    I would agree with you, David, had Aio been launched before T-Mobile did their whole UNcarrier thing. However, if memory serves me correct, it was launched by AT&T, seemingly as a direct response to T-Mobile’s moves. That wouldn’t be much to get me suspicious, but AT&T has also been making every effort to emulate what T-Mobile has been doing with Aio and their ‘Jump’ program. T-Mobile has been walked all over by the bigger carriers for too long, and if they have any hope of competing with the big boys, they need to start biting back, but only when defensive measures are in line. And this case is legitimate enough to warrant such action on their part.

    • That’s a fair argument, I’m just concerned that T-Mobile’s consistent attacks on AT&T lately will be combined with this lawsuit and just garner bad PR. It just seems like the timing is suspicious. I’m by no means saying don’t defend your copyrights, trademarks or anything of that nature, but the timing is suspicious to me.

      • metis

        actually, you seem to be explicitly saying that they shouldn’t defend it.

  • TMoFan

    Death Star is clearly moving into UNcarrier territory and instead of using a variation of their own blue/orange colors they just so happened to choose one very similar to magenta. People associate magenta with T-Mobile, but colors like it will form preconceived assumptions that the company is somehow related. Aio’s choice color is not a coincidence and they deserve to be called out on it. The truth is UNcarrier’s message is resonating because people are so damn tired of being screwed over by the Twin Bells and they must vigorously defend their brand in situations like this.

  • Chad

    but really AT&T you could have chosen from a million other colors…why something as close a magenta?

    • Morton H

      i agree ,, go TMOB

  • Whatever happened to Brad, I liked his articles.

    • Sorry you don’t like mine!

      • no, that’s not what I meant! lol I like yours just fine as well as evident in my comments of the past. : )

        • He got busy with the “real world” but I’ll talk to him about making some cameo appearances!

  • JayInCA

    David, in this instance, I completely disagree with you. I read in other comments at Forbes website ( where designers like myself make the professional arguement that given different lighting circumstances where potential customers view these shades of color, and read about the services, confusion may arise. Here’s a copied comment from that page:

    “jabberwolf 4 hours ago-
    Normally it would be silly.
    But ATT has different colors and is selling a service that its lacking in.. thats almost identical to t-mobile’s service.
    Thus having similar colors and an almost identical service is a trademark infringement. Go ask a lawyer that does trademark and IP law. It doesnt have to be identical but similar enough to make customers think its a related/associated business. And its not like T-mobile is suing for damages, simply to stop them from using a similar color. Its not like Apple suing because someone else is using a rectangle or rounded corners after production which is an enormous cost to change, as well as there arent many other shapes of phones out there. A simply color change to the website and some marketing materials is not a exorbitant cost. Its a reasonable suit, done promptly, in order to prevent confusion.
    For the first time, in a long time, I agree with this trademark/IP lawsuit.”

    I have worked in Branding, Marketing and Graphic Design for many years and I can say that AT&T/Aio made a purposeful choice to use a color close to T-Mobile’s. Out of all the colors possible to use they had to choose one in between Metro’s purple and T-Mo’s magenta? Seriously. Companies like T-Mobile must defend their trademarks, and to let a big fish like AT&T exploit and infringe on their branding would be a mistake and a bad business practice. This lawsuit is necessary on T-Mobile’s part and I hope they win. AT&S/Aio can pursue a different color to use for their branding, with not a great dent to their bottom line. They should not be allowed to confuse and attract consumers by using a shade of color close to T-Mobile’s trademark magenta.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying T-Mobile is completely in the wrong, but I think the case itself comes at a time when T-Mobile shouldn’t worry about this and concentrate on spending its limited resources in a more intellectual way. Until it gets to a point where customers are truly confused between the two brands, I’d rather see the money going to marketing, or lowering our monthly rates than into the pockets of lawyers.

      • bozzykid

        Plus, this lawsuit is just highlighting the fact that Aio exists which I’m sure most people didn’t even realize.

      • JoMo

        David really? A lower monthly rate? its the lowest in the nation for the quality of service. I’ve agreed with you nearly 99% of the time on multiple subjects but you are stretching a bit here. The only reason it is now being seen as “nit picky” or “frivolous” is because the colors are side by side…….. Have you looked at the TmoNews logo lately? Notice that two primary colors you have selected are that of AIO and T-Mobile colors. Not to mention, sitting back while AT&T makes a move is exactly how we lost customers in the first place. The idea of Un-Carrier is to get in the competitors face, make the first move, and stop playing like a girl.

      • Chilehead

        So how much does it cost DT to defend magenta? Perhaps it’s worth the investment. Not sure you got this one right David but I know you have good intentions. I see your point that they need to focus on the positives but I think this lawsuit is justified. Keep up the good work!

        • I don’t know that its unjustified either, but John Legere has made a habit of kicking AT&T at every turn lately and the addition of this lawsuit just reeks of something fishy. I’m not saying T-Mobile shouldn’t protect their trademarks, I believe they absolutely should but this just seems to be fishy in my opinion.

      • metis

        you seem to miss the fact that it’s necessary to defend IP when it *may* be infringed upon, rather than only when it’s clearly being infringed upon. if you don’t defend , especially when an rgb led light fixture in a store could spin that right into the protected color, you can actually loose your protection. it would cost them far more in the long run.

  • D Velasquez

    Deutsche Telekom did get the rights for the Magenta color , i don’t recall exactly the details but it was over the internet a couple of years ago.

    • kalel33

      They did for the specific color of RAL 4010, which is not the color of AIO.


    the point is that att could just made it the same color or similar color to it self duh point blank period they knew what they where doing.

    • 21stNow

      T-Mobile didn’t choose the same color scheme for GoSmart Mobile. In fact, the GoSmart Mobile color scheme looks like Cricket Wireless’. So this could get interesting as AT&T is in the process of acquiring Leap Wireless (Cricket’s parent). They could turn around and sue T-Mobile for the same thing if Leap Wireless has a trademark on using the color green in the cellular service industry.

  • guidomus_maximus

    You think they innocently picked this color? If you don’t think that ATT didn’t pick this color, to be as close as they thought they could be to T-Mobile’s, in order to provide MAXIMUM confusion, you are a duma##.
    The is the Evil Empire, the DeathStar. I’m sure they had some scientist figure out that Aye, Eye, Oh, stimulated the same brain receptors as Tee-moh-bile. Keep saying it over and over and it sounds the same.
    Gosh! Shucks! Poor old dumb ATT making an innocent error like that.
    Holy crap, when did T-Mobile become the bad guy!

  • Brian Richards

    I disagree. If those weren’t side by side, I’d be confused. If there was another wireless carrier with pinkish colors, I’d wonder first and foremost if it was a T-Mobile brand or program. That’s the whole POINT of trademakr laws. To prevent that kind of confusion.

    • Sid Hoffman

      I would argue that trademark laws should be used to trademark actual identifiable things, like names and logos, not things that occur naturally in nature, such as colors.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    T mobile should come out with prepaid service called the big blue and lets see how ATT likes it

  • Tmo1082

    T-Mobile shouldn’t worry about AIO it’s still AT&T just easier to leave bc of the no contracts.

  • tmobro

    Do yourself a favor… Take your shades off and place them over the right side(t-mobile side) of the color comparison. Now tell me who’s foolish for sueing. If it were your company and some start up in the same business, from a direct competitor no other, used the same color that consumers associate with your brand, I would hope you would sue too.

    • kalel33

      T-mobile has a trademark on a very particular color of Magenta, RAL 4010. They can’t trademark an entire spectrum of a color. All backhoes are yellow but they are not the trademarked CAT yellow. Does that make more sense?

  • czaplin

    T-Mobile and Mr. Legere, you better stop this pink crap. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Get rid of GPRS and EDGE please. I travel a lot and your coverage and data speed outside metro areas leave a lot to be desired. Data roaming only 50mb? WTH!

  • vinnyjr

    Don’t let AT&T get away with any of their sneaky ass shit. AT&T could have used a million different colors, why the hell do you think they went and used a shade of pink very very close to T-Mobile?? Confuse the customers. Gog get em Mr Legere.

  • lifeisgr84all

    Why didnt they use AT&T ‘s color??? how silly

  • Pb

    And this is why TMoNews is never invited to any events. Please state facts and let the readers form their own opinion! Your opinion is not the same as others. Sue their ass off!

    • This really isn’t why I’m not invited to those events. That stems from leaking all kinds of stuff, like I don’t know phones, services and upcoming products months in advance. That would be why. this is an editorial, hence my opinion. I didn’t force you to agree, but I have a voice and a website I can use to express it. I don’t want everyone to agree with me, but I do want the discussion and not personal attacks.

      • Pb

        The name of the site is TMO NEWS. News are facts. If you want to waste the readers time with your opinion then you should change the name to DAVID’s BLOG. Someone should sue you… LMAO

        • Someone should stop you on the street and ask if you can distinguish between news, editorial, opinion and reality. The name of the blog is irrevelant, so an editor for the New York Times can’t write an op-ed without you describing the NYT as needing to change its name? Got it.

        • Pb

          Speaking of New York Times, if your wrote your articles more like them, DGR, and Engadget maybe you would have more readers and be taken seriously and maybe even be invited to a T-Mobile Event.

        • Are you just ignoring my comments intentionally? WHEN I don’t get invited, it’s has always been of the leaks…it has nothing to do with the writing, opinions or editorials on this site. Seriously, which part of that is hard to understand? I don’t know any other reader who confuses this. Also, please don’t tell me to write like BGR, if that’s your baseline for success…you’ve lost all credibility. I respect those guys, but I don’t know any other site as sensationalist as they are so please, don’t respond anymore without evidence to actually prove I’m not invited to any T-Mobile events because of posts like this and not posting rate plans 3 months before they are supposed to release thereby screwing up their entire marketing plan.

    • kalel33

      Wow, didn’t know individual readers dictate how the news should be written on a different individual’s blog.

  • tjtj

    I believe they have a valid reason. One because they do have a trademark on the magenta color so why say “oh let at&t use a darker version of our trademark” the picture in the example is useless because you will never see the 2 side by side n public.. u will see pink and automatically assume tmobile and mistakenly end up with aio/att and thus tmobile loses a potential customer

    • kalel33

      They have a trademark on an exact color of magenta, not the entire spectrum of the color. Catepillar owns the trademark to a specific color of yellow but every single piece of heavy equipment is yellow, just not CAT yellow. John Deere owns a specific color of green but there are other lawn mowers that are green, just not John Deere green. That’s why they don’t get sued.

      There’s a reason why you can’t trademark an color spectrum.

      • tjtj

        I didnt say they trademarked the entire spectrum of magenta. Dont over think what i was saying to make a point. John derre may have green but they also dont have a competitor who says “lets use forest green and call our mowers ‘Johnny Dear'”. My point was that when you can see its a blatant copy of T-Mobile they have a right to call them out for trademark infringement. Why not use yellow, or red? Because sprint & verizon haven’t been making much noise in the news as of late and havent been taking shots at AT&T… T-Mobile has.

  • TmoSamsungMan

    Holy $#!t that was an awesome rant there Dave and you know what? Ya freaking nailed it. Your absolutely right, tmobile is doing so well and everything is running so silky smooth that a move like this is just unnecessary. Hope Mr J reads this and he let’s it sink in!

  • ccnet005

    I’m curious…Does John Legere even use tmobile?
    I bet he was signing up with Verizon when he took that pic of the verizon store
    the other day.

    • Chilehead

      Welcome to troll time.

    • Spanky

      Wow…Legere really has no shame, does he?

  • Brian T.

    They should’ve just poked fun at them with another witty advertisement — how ATT tried to copy JUMP! and failed, and now how they can’t even get the shade of magenta right. Or something. Or much better yet: don’t give them any attention at all (and thus free press).

    Obviously ATT didn’t just randomly pick magenta, and their Aio homepage is just a big attack on T-Mo, so I’d probably be a little upset too. But unless ATT promotes the heck out of Aio (doubtful since I’m sure it’s much less profitable vs. their contract service), just ignore it, at least for now.

    • Spanky

      “Aio homepage is just a big attack on T-Mo”
      Allow me to play the devil’s advocate. John Legere’s been attacking AT&T non-stop for the past several months. Sounds like a case of someone getting a taste of their own medicine.

  • Mrs Tmonew


    You’re an idiot. That is all.


    Your Mom

    • TmoSamsungMan

      Heath Ledgers Joker in dark Knight with Brian: “awe sho shosho.”

    • Mom? Is that you? Why didn’t you call me back yesterday, we wanted to FaceTime. Mom? Mom?

  • Chilehead

    Who cares how they got the cash? They got it and gave me (and many others) LTE. I also have no desire to switch back to AT&T anything since they have caused me grief personally and professionally. Legere is shaking up the industry and I applaud him. Oh and the lawsuit is from T-Mo’s parent company Deutsche Telekom not T-Mo and Legere.

    • xp84

      Yeah, and metro is owned by TM now so what’s the problem? They’re combining that network and said a month ago that project was ahead of schedule.

      att customer who hates them and is switching to TM this month :)

      • kalel33

        The Metro PCS towers won’t do much for them with coverage, because Metro’s coverage map doesn’t extend into areas where T-mobile didn’t already have service.

        • maxsilver

          That’s not true everywhere.

          There are a lot of areas where MetroPCS has nearly double or triple the amount of LTE coverage than T-Mobile has 3G. (California and Michigan are two big examples)

        • kalel33

          Again, the coverage is the same. T-mobile just hasn’t updated the towers in those areas with LTE. It only expanded LTE coverage, not cellular coverage.

        • maxsilver

          Again, the coverage is **not** the same.

          MetroPCS has LTE service in many cities where T-Mobile does not exist, areas where T-Mobile has no 3G, no EDGE, and no GRPS, no service of any kind.

          In Michigan, as an example, T-Mobile has no service (not even EDGE/GRPS) in Muskegon, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Mt Pleasant, and Midland. MetroPCS offers full LTE in each of those cities.

    • MMA Prints

      Someone is clueless as to how this all works. This lawsuit isn’t bringing T-Mobile instant buckets of cash. Since you seem to believe that the company is broke and suing to somehow get more money, your argument falls flat.

    • josephsinger

      You seem to forget that both Verizon and AT&T (as other entities) got the big valuable cellular licenses in the early 80’s and every other competitor was relegated to PCS. PCS (Sprint PCS and VoiceStream) didn’t start up until the mid-nineties. Verizon and AT&T’s forbears had big advantages over companies that came after them. T-Mobile is *never* going to be as big or as spread out with coverage as AT&T or Verizon. It’s not going to happen. Ever.

  • TmoSamsungMan

    No they just wanna give abusive carriers a taste of there own medicine.

    • Hi Jody Smith and GinaDee…nice that you have the same IP address. *Where is that banhammer?* Coincidence that you always seem to respond to the same post.

      • eanfoso

        burn!! nice one david!!!! good catch!

  • stonegyrl

    T-Mobile is PINK not “magenta”

    • rob

      Palm of the hand to the face

  • Spanky

    Speaking of MetroPCS….the letters PCS in their logo are orange, just like one of the two colors prominently featured throughout AT&T’s advertising and website. As MetroPCS’s owner, T-Mobile should take notice.

  • Jeff

    T mobile needs the money to keep building there network that’s why there doing this!

  • yeah right

    Its funny, the first time I saw aio, I wondered which carrier owned it or aligned with it, I instantly thought T-Mobile, went in the store out of curiosity and realized it was at&t.

    It’s simple at&t wanted to align aio with T-Mobile to create the illusion of cheaper prices which T-Mobile is known for. Not that this lawsuit should ever happen, but I can understand why they would be upset, these sorts of things can trick the average consumer. At&t should have gone with a lighter or darker blue.

  • rob

    I agree with T-Mo’s actions, sorry, but I know the average consumer would get confused. I work with people like this everyday, confusion and illusion are key in the tech world. (Samsung & Apple?) Yes, it’s childish just like the whole Engadget ordeal but this is a little more justified then that. As long as it doesn’t go too public or hurt their improving image, “we good”.

  • MarkAzali

    This is a huge waste of time/resources. Think Redbox and Netflix. They’re doing just fine.