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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I claim cobalt


A lot to write about but I think I am going to have to ease in for a couple days and maybe see what percs up to the surface.

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Maureen Dowd wrote a great piece a few days regarding the general dumbing down of the media today, Still mad as hell.
What would Paddy rant about the viral, often venomous world of the Internet, Twitter and cable news, where fake rage is all the rage all the time, bleeding over into a Congress that chooses antagonism over accomplishment, no over yes?
She is right. Gary's Chicaros, Giraffe kills, radioactive fish, gay linebackersarsenic rivers, etcetera, we're all paddling through the same daily fetid swamp of muck and outrage. We seek out the enragement du jour and blissfully tweet, facebook and blog the bounty back to our respective camps, further reinforcing our clannish ossification, not to mention dialing up the white noise of constant chatter. One's shoulder gets tired picking all of the low hanging distractions, the inclination, at least for me, is to try to pierce a veil or two if possible, a macro view perhaps making more sense of it all.

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I was a bit betwixt by the news that a court had found for t-mobile over att in a trademark case that involved of all things, color. You can evidently own your own piece of the color spectrum these days, not to mention bring suit against any spectral interlopers.

T mobile rocks the world with its patented magenta color and they think that Aio, an ATT subsidiary, is poaching its chroma with their plum color. Not really a plum, more of a brick. To my eye, they are worlds apart but a judge didn't see it that same way. He is ordering Aio to refrain from all use of the color known in the trade as Pantone 676c.

Federal District Court judge Lee Rosenthal writes that "T-Mobile has shown a likelihood that potential customers will be confused into thinking that Aio is affiliated or associated with T-Mobile based on the confused association between Aio’s use of its plum color and T-Mobile’s similar use of its similar magenta color."

T Mobile says that customers know it for its distinctive magenta hue and that its use of the color is protected by trademark law. It maintains that it owns the hexadecimal color better known as #EA0A8E.

Look at the two colors and the two type styles above. Is this not absolutely silly and frivolous? And what neanderthal would confuse these two colors, let alone logos? They are miles apart chromatically.


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This makes me think of two similar stupidities, McDonalds suing everybody in the world with the audacity to have a Mc prefix to their business name, including a million or so Scotsmen and Annheiser Busch's myriad of lawsuits against a Czech brewery whose origins date back to the 13th century and who have been brewing under the Budweiser moniker since 1876.
In 1994, McDonald's successfully forced Elizabeth McCaughey of the San Francisco Bay Area to change the trading name of her coffee shop McCoffee, which had operated under that name for 17 years. "This is the moment I surrendered the little 'c' to corporate America," said Elizabeth McCaughey, who had named it as an adaptation of her surname.

This is the reason the bard suggested that first we kill all the lawyers. This cockamamie notion that corporations can lay claim to a chunk of the color bandwidth, not to mention divvy up the english language and lay claims to the commercial use of people's given names.

I hereby claim the letter R and will be seeking royalties in the future from all of you who deign to use it.

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I had an interesting discussion with an ex Xerox employee from the Palo Alto Research Center the other day. The PARC group was basically responsible for the personal computer you have today but never monetized their research.

He was laughing at the audacity of Microsoft going after patents that they had themselves appropriated from Xerox.


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I tell you, a new outrage every day.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back Robby. JH

Anonymous said...

I was involved as an expert witness in a similar case. 3M sued a North Carolina company over the use of the color blue on masking tape. A judge wisely suggested that each company take a different shade of blue, but neither company would agree. I made a nice fee.

lm