Copyright case takes telecom company to task for saying thanks

Companies often go to great lengths to ensure that valuable intellectual property remains protected. The methods used by businesses include copyrights, patents and trademarks, which gives them the right to take legal action against another company in the event that infringement occurs. 

This was the case recently for telecom giant AT&T, which has been accused of copyright infringement by Citigroup in a New York federal court for its usage of the word “thanks” in customer-loyalty advertising. AT&T disputes allegations of wrongdoing, stating that it’s not possible for a company to have exclusive rights to a word. Citigroup states that AT&T went ahead with their advertising despite similarities between the two promotions, and contend that the company was aware of previous trademarks. Citigroup also finds fault with the design used on AT&T’s campaign, which they allege bears a likeness to their own. 

The banking and investment company cites a trademark established in 2004, which features the phrase “ThankYou” on credit cards and other materials. Because the original trademark came about as a part of a customer-loyalty campaign, Citigroup alleges AT&T infringed upon their copyright when launching a similar effort aimed at thanking customers for their continued support. The company also claims that customers may be confused by similarities between the two campaigns, and pointed to the more than seven million people in possession of Citibank provided credit cards containing the wording.

Comprehending copyright law can be difficult for many businesses, and failure to gain a real understanding may result in expensive legal battles as illustrated above. Therefore, contacting an attorney is recommended to help you avoid infringing on another company’s intellectual property.

Source: Tech Times, “Citigroup Sues AT&T Over 'Thanks' Word: Copyright Infringement,” Horia Ungureanu, June 12, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Hear From Our Clients

Mr. Skolnik and Mr. Gaboury have represented me on multiple cases over the past two years. They are dependable, knowledgeable, and professional. They provided high quality legal guidance for my small business during a difficult time and brought me a peace of mind. I highly recommend Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy as your legal business representative. -Anonymous

Read More Reviews

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Tap To Request An Exploratory Consultation

New York Office
630 Third Avenue
23rd Floor
New York, NY 10017

Phone: 646-355-1648
New York Law Office Map

Great Neck Office
98 Cutter Mill Road
Suite 310N
Great Neck, NY 11021

Phone: 646-355-1648
Great Neck Law Office Map

Hackensack Office
27 Warren Street
Suite 304
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Phone: 646-355-1648
Hackensack Law Office Map

Denver Office
1060 Humboldt Street
Denver, CO 80218

Phone: 646-355-1648
Denver Law Office Map