Last August, T-Mobile filed a trademark infringement suit against AIO Wireless (a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.) accusing AIO of trying to replicate T-Mobile’s magenta color scheme. T-Mobile US Inc. et al, v. AIO Wireless LLC, CV H-13-2478 (S.D. Tex. filed Aug. 23, 2014). T-Mobile owns a number of registered trademarks incorporating the magenta color sometimes described as Pantone Process Magenta. In its complaint, T-Mobile claimed that launch of AIO in May 2013 and its use of a magenta color scheme in marketing and promotional materials was timed to coincide with T-Mobile’s announced strategy to move away from contract-based mobile services plans. T-Mobile alleged that AIO’s use of the magenta color was “likely to 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.” Complaint at 1-2. On January 22, 2014, US District Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas entered an order granting T-Mobile a preliminary injunction against AIO enjoining the company from “using large blocks or swaths of Pantone 676C or similar shade” in its advertising and marketing. Order at 2. The court was apparently convinced that T-Mobile is likely to succeed in proving that AIO’s use of Pantone 676C in its marketing and store design is confusingly similar to T-Mobile’s use of Pantone Process Magenta in its marketing and store design. Id at 1. While the court’s order references findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of the ruling, no such document is currently available to the public.

Authored by Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer Saul Perloff of the US Intellectual property group in San Antonio.