An online insurance company founded in 2015 and based in New York has been told by T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom that it must desist from using the color magenta in any of its advertising and marketing activities in the German market. Deutsche Telekom’s demand follows its successful application in the German court for a preliminary injunction protecting what it says are its exclusive rights to use the color in Germany, despite Deutsche Telekom having no presence in the insurance space.

Lemonade, however, insists that the color it has been using in its marketing activities, both in Germany and in the rest of the world, is actually pink, rather than magenta. Lemonade CEO and co-founder Daniel Schreiber said: “If some brainiac at Deutsche Telekom had invented the color, their possessiveness would make sense. Absent that, the company’s actions just smack of corporate bully tactics, where legions of lawyers attempt to hog natural resources – in this case a primary color – that rightfully belong to everyone”.

Fellow Lemonade co-founder Shai Wininger added “Deutsche Telekom tried to use the injunction to strong-arm us into signing away our right to use the color pink anywhere in the world, as well as our right to challenge its supposed ownership of pink everywhere. At first we thought [Deutsche Telekom] couldn’t be serious: monopolizing all the pink in the world sounds like something a cartoon villain would do in a Disney epic. But it was serious. It’s the move of a big corporation that has run out of good ideas”.

Lemonade is now seeking to invalidate Deutsche Telekom’s claim to have exclusive rights over various shades of magenta and has launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #FreeThePink to draw attention to what it sees are Deutsche Telekom’s unfair tactics and claims.

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