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T-Mobile threatens smartwatch company over its use of magenta

T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom AG is once again waving its magenta trademark around and threatening companies who dare use any bright pink hue to market their products and services, this time targeting smartwatch producer OXY.

According to an OXY blog post, the German telecom sent the smartwatch company a confidential "notice of threatened opposition" letter on November 3rd, 16 days before it expected its trademark to become official. The contents of the letter couldn't be disclosed, but it likely said something along the lines of "stop using magenta, or else."

At first, OXY didn’t fully understand why T-Mobile would go after it, considering it solely has smartwatch ambitions, not telecom ones. However, a consultation with external advisors exposed T-Mobile's fierce magenta ownership desires. The telecom went after AT&T’s Aio Wireless in 2013 with a full-blown lawsuit alleging Aio's plum color scheme and similar wireless services tricked customers into thinking the low-cost carrier was associated with T-Mobile. Before that, in 2008, Deutsche went after tech blog Engadget Mobile for its use of magenta in its logo.

T-Mobile, OXY

"Since we didn’t have the financial resources to fight Deutsche Telekom AG on this matter, and because we also didn’t want to just ignore them, we basically had two options left: We could either negotiate with Telekom to find a price for using the old logo, or we could change everything," OXY wrote. The company also noted the telecom could make a decent profit off suits like this, especially if magenta offenders would rather pay their way out of a legal problem.

OXY opted for the second option and modified more than 25,000 image files along with other design properties. It also registered new colors for its brand: yellow and black kohl. "Ultimately, we wanted to be able to focus on our upcoming Indiegogo campaign and the development of OXY, not legal issues."