Re: Use of Bell Logo: Qwest? SBC?

Trademarks must remain in use to remain legally protected, so I'm

> curious where and how Qwest ("my" Baby Bell) uses the Bell logo, if at > all. In most cases Qwest has eliminated it since merging with US > West. You can still make out the shadow of a Bell logo removed from > the wall of a Qwest building in Ankeny, Iowa, for example. > Last night on the way to a wedding reception I saw a Bell logo that > Qwest hasn't gotten rid of: a wooden pay phone kiosk inside the south > entrance of the Sioux Falls VFW Lounge still has a Bell sign on top, > with the blue Bell logo to the left of the word "phone". Except for > Qwest signs tacked to the sides of the kiosk it looked a couple > decades old. Does Qwest affixing new signs without taking down the > Bell sign count as current use for trademark purposes? It seems > better than the example Qwest filed with the USPTO in 2003, which was > a couple photos of a US West payphone kiosk, which didn't even have > the Qwest identity. > Even without the logo, Qwest does try to connect less obviously to the > Bell identity. Its Dex phone book is still blue and gold, the Qwest > logotype is in the Gill Sans font which has also been the corporate > font of AT&T (although the Bell System used Helvetica), and their > current slogan is "Spirit of Service", a long-time Bell System motto. > Arguably, Qwest's blue swoosh logo echos the circular blue Bell logo > -- or would, at least, clash with it if the Bell logo were also > present. > Has anyone ever seen an example of Qwest intentionally adding the Bell > logo to anything anywhere? I wonder what they'll come up with when > their next trademark filing is due. > The other RBOCs have filed their own claims of Bell logo usage: > In 2002, SBC submitted a photo of a white service truck with blue and > gold stripes and Southwestern Bell Telephone markings. Do their > trucks still look like that? It's about as convincing as Qwest's US > West phone booth. It'll be interesting to learn what SBC does with > branding after their purchase of AT&T. > Also in 2002, Verizon submitted photos of new Verizon service trucks > and pay phones featuring the Bell logo. IMO Verizon has cleverly > dealt with the Bell logo "problem", that is, keeping it alive and > meaningful but not letting it compete with their own created identity. > Finally, both of the Baby Bells that don't use the Bell logo > themselves license Bell names and logos to equipment manufacturers. > Qwest licenses Northwestern Bell to Unical and SBC licenses > Southwestern Bell to Conair. This despite Northwestern Bell and > Southwestern Bell no longer being names Qwest or SBC use themselves, > and the fact that while Qwest and SBC sell phone equipment on their > websites, it's not their licensed Bell-branded equipment. > Bell logo trademark registrations can be found by searching for design > code 220324 260101 at the USPTO.

My recollection is that the 23 BOCs (Bell Operating Companies) that merged into Seven RBOCs (Regional bell Operating Companies) on Jan 1

1984 retained the right to use the Bell System Logo, and AT&T lost that right, and thus was born the present day - for a while longer - or more if SBC adopts the AT&T name and perhaps logo, at least -- AT&T deathstar.

But AT&T retained the right to use the Bell name, not logo, for Bell Labs.

And the Telcordia company that was formed and jointly owned by the 7 RBOCs was allowed to retain the symbol and was named Bellcore.

Those 7 RBOCs morphed into the present 4, and Quest took over the USWest rights to use the Bell Logo. USWest retained Mountain Bell, Pacific Northwest Bell.

I don't recall what the minority-owned Bells were allowed to do with the logo, tough I assume they retainled that right. But since SBC bought out SNET so that's moot, and Cincinnati Bell was/is the only remaining minority Bell.

Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ Columbus OH K2PZH

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Arthur Kamlet
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