Lemonade Wins #FreeThePink Case Against Deutsche Telekom in France
French authorities rule in favor of Lemonade, ending a decades-long monopoly over the color pink in the country’s financial sector.
NEW YORK & AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lemonade, the insurance company powered by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics, announced it has won a key ruling against Deutsche Telekom over the use of the color pink in France.
Deutsche Telekom has owned the French trademark on the color pink, or magenta, in the field of financial services (known as ‘class 36’) since it registered this color-mark 25 years ago. No longer. In a ruling issued on December 15, 2020, French authorities found that “there is no evidence of genuine use of this mark for the contested services” by Deutsche Telekom, confirming that “the owner of the contested mark should therefore be deprived of his rights.”
The colorful saga started with Lemonade’s June 2019 launch in Germany, when Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile’s parent company) proclaimed that its dominion over the color pink extended to insurance, and obtained a court ruling instructing Lemonade to remove the offending color from all its German assets.
In deference to the court, Lemonade made the color changes in Germany, but in defiance of Deutsche Telekom, Lemonade set out to challenge the scope of their ‘magenta’ trademark, starting in France and Germany, as well as very validity of their pan-European ‘magenta’ trademark.
France is the first of these jurisdictions to issue a decision, and their ruling has broken Deutsche Telekom’s hegemony over pink, marking an important milestone in Lemonade’s campaign to #FreeThePink.
“The French decision hopefully signals a turning point in the battle to stop trademark trolling by Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile,” said Daniel Schreiber, Lemonade CEO and cofounder. “In recent years DT has banned the use of pink by a technology blog in the US, an aspiring watchmaker seeking crowd-funding on Indiegogo, an invoice processor in Holland, a nine person IT shop in England. That’s nuts. When they tried to extend their monopoly over pink to the insurance industry, we felt it was time to fight back. 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.”
Lemonade has been using pink prominently and proudly since its inception in 2015. Its Instagram campaign, which first featured hundreds of everyday objects dunked into pink paint and has since evolved into commissioned works of art celebrating the particular shade of pink (hex code #FF0083), has been viewed by tens of millions. The company’s art publication can be found at the aptly named ff0083.com.
Lemonade offers renters, homeowners, and pet health insurance in the United States, contents and liability insurance in Germany and the Netherlands, and renters insurance in France, through its full-stack insurance carriers. Powered by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics, Lemonade set out to replace brokers and bureaucracy with bots and machine learning, aiming for zero paperwork and instant everything. A Certified B-Corp, Lemonade gives unused premiums to nonprofits selected by its community, during its annual Giveback.
Lemonade is currently available for most of the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and France and continues to expand globally.
Stay in touch at @lemonade_inc or email@example.com