Colour Complexities

This article picks up on an issue I have noted before – the trademarking of colours. It would seem T-Mobile has claimed magenta, within the confines of the tele-communication industry, while my previous bugbear on this relates to the Post Office’s trademark of an admittedly very specific shade of the colour red (presumably within whatever arenas they seek to trade, which would likely to be far more widespread than T-Mobile).

While I appreciate the concepts of brand and identity in establishing a company and its presence in the marketplace, this sort of thing just seems like a minefield. How can you know that you’re not going to get royally screwed by some enormous company and their vicious lawyers without spending weeks in intensive research…

Given T-Mobile already took measures against a German On-Demand book publisher for their use of magenta in an advert (which included other – currently – safe colour variations), how seriously do we need to consider this kind of thing in future? Is it safe to go out of the house anymore without double-checking your wardrobe with your lawyer? (Yes, well, obviously it is… unless you’re into some kind of street advertising and another street advertiser has a trademark on the colour of your favourite sweater).





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