Can you Trademark a colour?
Color can be an important part in distinguishing your product from others. As much as Trademarking a color can be valuable for an owner, many companies quickly learn that registering a color trademark can be in fact not so easy to obtain. This form of Trademark is not considered traditional and is still in a gray area.
An applicant must prove that the color being registered has required distinctiveness through extensive use (campaigns, marketing, sales etc), meaning that the brand can be recognized through color and not knowing the brand name. The courts are reluctant to allow any one trader to have a monopoly over a color.
It’s important to note that should a company successfully trademark a color they would be covered solely within the same industry.
When registering a color, one would need to specify the Pantone color. Pantone colors are color codes that stand for a specific shade.
Here are some examples of brands that have successfully registered their color mark:
Tiffany & Co Robin’s Egg Blue Pantone 1837
UPS Brown Pantone 0607298
Barbie Mattel Barbie Pink Pantone 219C
Cadbury Royal Purple Pantone 2685C
Do you want more information on how to set up a proactive IP strategy? We at Otmore are always up to date with current events in the industry, contact us today and we’m happy to help!
Article written by Rebecca Grima