Trademarking: Can Brands Really Own a Colour?
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise then, that many companies feel protective over the colours they choose to associate their brand with.
There are countless examples of businesses taking other businesses to court over colour-related disputes – although relatively few genuine success stories. While the US Federal Court of Appeals ruled in a case against Yves Saint Laurent in 2012 that Christian Louboutin could protect its instantly recognisable red-soled shoes from copycats, the ruling doesn’t apply when the rest of a shoe by another designer is red as well.
It was a similar story for Cadbury in 2013 when, after a long-fought legal dispute, Nestlé managed to overturn a ruling that allowed Cadbury to trademark its signature purple color, meaning it was unable to register exclusive trademark rights to the color.
The real question is, couldn’t companies like Cadbury and Christian Louboutin’s money and time be better spent investing in decent design and branding, rather than expensive trademark lawyers?
Aimee McLaughlin a marketing & Branding writer works with Creative Review.
Culled from Creative review