Lawsuits filed over the use of certain colors do not occur often, but they are a legitimate cause for concern. That’s what T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom appears to be going for, according to a blog post from the smartwatch producer Oxy.
Oxy was working on an IndieGoGo campaign and was in the middle of preparing for the launch when Telekom sent word. Having filed its own trademark this August, Oxy received a “notice of threatened opposition” on November 3, 16 days before the trademark was expected to become official. Following this, the company spent one week modifying over 25,000 image files as well as other design assets in order to avoid going to court. Oxy stated that it didn’t know how often the German company threatened this type of legal action, and thus decided to focus on its “upcoming Indiegogo campaign and the development of Oxy, not legal issues.”
Deutsche Telekom didn’t seem too keen on letting the details of this ordeal become public. Oxy mentions a well-placed confidentiality clause that apparently should not be trifled with. With that said, the blog post does its best in circumventing the issue by mentioning that two colors from their previous logo were involved in the threat: clear magenta and bleak grey. Considering the use of magenta in Telekom’s logo, we deem it safe to say that Oxy’s new black, white and orange-oriented designs are good to go.
This wasn’t the first endeavor of this kind from Detuche Telekom; the telecommunications giant had previously sent similar notices to Engadget, AT&T’s Aio Wireless, and Globalnet Telecom, among others.
While it’s important for companies to unique brands protected by trademark law, suing for the rights to general colors seems excessively litigious. If we’re already seeing colors like magenta (RAL 4010) getting trademarked, why not yellow, blue, or green? But hey, they say limitations spark creativity, so maybe we’ll see the invention of entirely new and impossible colors to escape these constraints.