Color marks are marks consisting solely of one or more colors used on particular objects. In the case of marks used in connection with goods or products, the color may cover the entire surface of the goods, or only a part of the goods, or all or part of the packaging of the goods.

Many companies have successfully obtained trademark protection for a single color or combination of colors for their particular products or services. Good examples include the United Parcel Service registration for the color brown for transportation and delivery services. Tiffany has multiple registrations for a particular color of blue used on bags, boxes, catalog covers, and bra tops used as a container for fragrance products, tableware, jewelry, apparel, retail store services, or in relation to these. , and the other products and services offered by Tiffanys. 3M has a registration for the color yellow for use on telephone maintenance instruments and POST-IT Notes (they also carry the POST-IT Mark). Owens Cornings has a number of registrations for the color pink used with duct tape, insulation, and other products used in the building and construction industry. And let’s not forget John Deere’s rights to the colors green and yellow in association with their product line.

The first question when considering whether you have the right to protect color is whether you are actually using the color as a trademark, to indicate the origin of your goods or services. The registrability of a color mark depends on the way the mark is used in commerce.

When color is used arbitrarily, it is usually perceived as an ornamental element, or in other words, nothing more than interior decoration, and not registrable. If, on the contrary, through use, the color mark is perceived by the consuming public to identify and distinguish the products in relation to which it is used and to indicate the source, it is entitled to protection. For example, while shopping you see a line of multi-colored lawn mowers, is there any question about the origin of the greens and yellows?

Color can be a very compelling trademark and a valuable business asset. The selection of commercial brands and the planning of marketing strategies and campaigns is essential for any business. The explosion of social media, as well as changes in traditional advertising and marketing methods, have created opportunities to develop more unique and non-traditional approaches that can give companies a competitive advantage. Promoting non-traditional trademarks such as color or other unique source identifiers (such as sounds, scents, flavors, product shapes, and online movement brands) can give you a fresher, more unique method of engaging a broader audience. .

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