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A federal judge has ruled in favor of T-Mobile, ordering a preliminary injunction against AT&T’s Aio Wireless that bars the subsidiary from using a color that’s similar to T-Mobile’s trademarked magenta.

In a ruling last month, federal judge Lee Rosenthal wrote that Aio’s use of a plum color in advertisements and marketing materials was “confusingly similar” to T-Mobile’s magenta color.

“After reviewing the advertisements in the record and considering the secondary meaning associated with the use of the bright pink magenta color in the industry and market at issue, the court concludes that Aio plum is similar to T-Mobile magenta and that Aio’s use of large blocks or swaths of its plum color is similar to T-Mobile’s use of its magenta color,” the judge wrote.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere
T-Mobile CEO John Legere

T-Mobile, which has taken numerous shots at its larger rival in recent months, including constant bombardment from T-Mobile CEO John Legere, applauded the court’s decision.

It posted this statement:

A federal court has halted AT&T’s transparent effort to infringe on T-Mobile’s distinctive magenta trademark. T-Mobile [U.S. Inc.] is very pleased that the federal court in Texas has ordered Aio Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T, to stop infringing T-Mobile’s magenta trademark. The court agreed with us that Aio can’t continue infringing T-Mobile’s magenta mark by using large blocks of what it has called “plum,” and told Aio to stop using magenta or similar colors in all of its marketing and advertising, including stores, web sites and social media. The Court’s ruling, coming after extensive argument and a three-day hearing, validates T-Mobile’s position that wireless customers identify T-Mobile with magenta and that T-Mobile’s use of magenta is protected by trademark law.

The news was first reported by The Verge, which posted the full 69-page court document here.

T-Mobile filed the trademark case last August, arguing at the time that Aio chose similar coloring in order “to dilute T-Mobile’s famous magenta color trademark.”

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