All your colours are belong to us

All your colours are belong to us

The madness of IP law. First Microsoft tries to maintain that it owns the word ‘Windows’. And now this (from the NYT report):

“Orange said yesterday evening that it would sue easyMobile, a wireless start-up founded by the entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who also founded the easyJet discount airline. Orange wants to keep easyMobile from ever using its signature color in advertisements.

The crux of the argument is that ads for Orange prominently feature its namesake color. Its shade of orange is similar to the one used by all the easyGroup brands, and to the one that easyMobile plans to use in advertisements of its own.”

Stelios is not going to take this lying down, I am glad to say, so this one will run and run.

Connoisseurs of these matters will recall the famous exchange between Groucho Marx and Warner Brothers, when the latter objected to the title of the Marx Brothers’ film, A Night in Casablanca. Groucho’s masterful letter reads, in part:

“You claim you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without your permission. What about Warner Brothers — do you own that, too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about Brothers. Professionally, we were brothers long before you were.

Even before us, there had been other brothers — the Smith Brothers, the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brouthers, an outfielder with Detroit, and ‘Brother, can you spare a dime?’ This was originally ‘Brothers, can you spare a dime,’ but this was spreading a dime pretty thin.

The younger Warner Brother calls himself Jack. Does he claim that, too? It’s not an original name — it was used long before he was born, Offhand, I can think of two Jacks — there was Jack of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day.

As for Harry, offhand I can think of two Harrys that preceded him. There was Lighthorse Harry of revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum, who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue.”