Darius Rafieyan

Darius Rafieyan joined NPR in 2017 as the founding producer of The Indicator from Planet Money. He has produced stories about infectious disease outbreaks, the world's greatest air salesman, and the economics of Tinder.

Before joining NPR, he was a producer at Bloomberg and Al Jazeera English. Rafieyan also reported from Iran for The Guardian's Tehran Bureau blog. He is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

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Could Geoffrey the giraffe be back in business? For decades, a visit to Toys R Us was an indispensable part of holiday shopping for kids. That is, until last year, when the company announced it would be closing its doors for good.

Daniel Schreiber, the CEO of a small insurance company called Lemonade, was surprised this summer when he received a strongly worded letter from lawyers at one of the world's biggest telecom companies.

"At some level I knew it wasn't a joke, but it sure sounded like one," he said.

The letter was from Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, and it accused Lemonade of stealing its trademark.


Hey, Ailsa, I want to try a thought exercise with you, OK?



SHAPIRO: When I say the word magenta, what's the first thing that pops into your head?

CHANG: A Crayola crayon.

SHAPIRO: OK. Well, the wireless carrier T-Mobile is claiming in a new lawsuit that the color magenta is so inextricably linked to its brand that other companies...

CHANG: What?

SHAPIRO: ...Should be barred from using it. As Darius Rafieyan reports, that is not sitting well with some people.

The shale oil boom that catapulted the U.S. into being the world's largest oil producer may be going bust. Oil prices are dropping amid weakening demand, bankruptcies and layoffs are up, and drilling is down — signs of a crisis that's quietly roiling the industry.

Some of the most successful companies in the oil business are household names — think Exxon Mobil or Chevron. But the boom in shale drilling has been driven by smaller, independent operators. These companies have pushed the limits of drilling technology and taken big risks on unproven oil fields.

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