Invention Geek Question – Color Trademark?Posted by Invention Geek - 30/12/11 at 09:12 am
Question from Amy K.:
Hello Invention Geek,
Can you trademark a color?
In some cases, yes, a color can be trademarked. In 1995, The Supreme Court ruled in Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., Inc. that a color can be trademarked under certain circumstances.
The court ruled that in order for a color to be trademarked it must have “secondary meaning” and it must not be functional. Secondary meaning implies that consumers now associate a color and a product. Functionality means that the color must serve an aesthetic purpose and must have no impact on the use of the product. For example, Fiskars has trademarked the orange handled scissors. The orange scissors have become recognized as their product. But if the scissors handle was any other color that would still function as scissors.
Other examples of trademarked colors include the pink of Owens Corning’s insulations and the brown used on the trucks and uniforms for UPS.
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