The paper reported that Orange plans to sue wireless startup easyMobile for using the color orange in its advertisements.
The Times quoted a statement by the company that said, "We have been unable to secure a commitment from [easyMobile] not to infringe our rights regarding the use of the color orange."
Next thing you know, they'll say they own the fruit, too.
The move is part of a larger and highly disturbing trend whereby companies come along and claim ownership of and rights to things that they didn't invent that are part of the natural world or have spontaneously emerged from human culture.
The American firm Blue Frog Mobile filed a lawsuit recently against the French media conglomerate Lagardere Active over the use in advertising of what it says are two phrases Blue Frog owns: "Get some bling in your ring" and "the hook-up." The first one is a phrase, which is understandable. But "the hook-up" is just standard hip-hop slang neither company invented, but nevertheless both want to own and exclude others from using.
Judges everywhere should spank companies that try to pull this kind of opportunistic culture grabbing and remember that colors and street slang aren't the property of corporations.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.