T-Mobile sues Qwest over slogan
By Phil Milford And Brad Broberg, Bloomberg News
March 3, 2005
Qwest's wireless unit was sued by Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA, which claims that Qwest is misusing its "Get More" advertising slogan pitched by Catherine Zeta-Jones.
T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. cellular phone company, claims in the suit filed last week in Seattle that Qwest Wireless is using the trademarked "Get More" phrase to promote its mobile phones. T-Mobile has used the slogan since 1998 and hired Zeta- Jones as a television spokeswoman in 2002.
"As a result of Qwest's actions, the value of T-Mobile's trademarks has been and continues to be diminished, and consumers are being misled and confused," Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile contends in the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.
Qwest, which has offered to buy MCI Inc. for $8 billion, is awaiting regulatory approval to sell its wireless assets to Verizon Wireless for $418 million. T-Mobile has about 17.3 million mobile phone subscribers, compared with Qwest's 754,000.
Bob Toevs, a spokesman for Denver-based Qwest, said that "as a policy" the company doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.
On its Web site, Qwest advertises one plan with the label, "You Can Get More From Your Wireless." T-Mobile says in the lawsuit that consumers seeing such a phrase "are likely to believe, at least initially," that it relates to T-Mobile services.