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
> 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 @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH