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that Tiffany blue box the red soul on the Christian Louboutin shoe can you trademark a color I'm Barbara Coulson director of the famed program and professor of fashion like her does a law school the answer is yes although it may not be so easy as mr. Louboutin can tell you after his long and expensive litigation with Eva Soler on the court in that case limited mr. Louboutins protection to contrasting colors so he's protect his the red sole on his shoe is protected he has a registered trademark for that mark but that is the limitation the key is whether the color acts as a source identifier you look at a Tiffany box and you think Tiffany you see a woman walking down the street for the red sole and you think Christian Louboutin so can any color be registered not so easy for example this talks on Law Blog the orange interior could this be registered as a trademark probably not unless talks on law became very famous and consumers looked at this mug and and saw the orange and thought talks on law that's called that's source identification just like we see the Nike swoosh and we say Nike we see the polo player symbol and we think polo we see the Tiffany blue box and we think Tiffany that's source identification and that's the at the heart of trademark law so how does that affect tiffany tiffany still has protection for the Tiffany blue the eggshell blue could cartier you start using that color blue for its boxes definitely no I'm Barbara Coulson thanks for watching talks on law you you
Thanks for your comment Claudia Coccia, have a nice day.
- King Erler, Staff Member
hey folks today's video is based around a question that one of my youtube subscribers has asked that question was can i trademark a color well the answer is just like a logo under name yes you can trademark a color many brands have already done so brands like UPS Coca Cola Tiffany t-mobile and 3m they're the guys that made post-it notes did you know that the reason that post-it notes are the trademarked color canary yellow it's because that's the only color of scrap paper that they had lying around when they were testing out the post-it note ideas so why would you trade mark a brand color in the first place well imagine you're a brand and you've been using the same color in all of your marketing for years decades even what happens is your customer base becomes accustomed to seeing that color and as such it becomes a brand association when the customer sees that color in their heads they think of your brand what brand would not want to protect that because what could happen is a competitor could come along and start using that color as well and potentially leech away some of their business or customers so to stop that from happening the brand trademarks that color now when you trademark that color you don't own that color oh right what it does is it gives you the right to use that specific color for a product service in a specific industry so let's say for example your coca-cola and you have your coca-cola red they can stop any other soft drinks company from using that color to promote their product but coca-cola couldn't stop someone using that red in an entirely unassociated industry like construction for now there was a case where t-mobile who have registered the trademark color of magenta tried to stop the website magazine Engadget from using magenta in their brand and not surprisingly it was thrown out of court because Engadget is not trading in the same sector as t-mobile however a few years later t-mobile did get a win against AT&T who are a phone company and who tried to use magenta in their brand and t-mobile were able to put a stop to that so as you can see these are pretty big brands who have been spending a lot of money and a lot of time pushing a specific color for their brand most businesses won't have had that sort of brand recognition around color so trademarking the color may not be top of mind if you are going to trademark anything for your brand there are three stages I would say you want to go your first trademark should be the name of your business the next stage would be to register your logo so that no one can copy the shape of the logo then the third step would be to register your brand color because by that point you will probably be big enough and I've been existing long enough that your customers now associated a specific color that you've been using consistently for your brand if you've got any questions about trademark in your logo or trademarking a color or you just need any help with any sort of brand design or brand strategy then head on over to my website and you can look up our our call with me and we'll deal with your problem I hope you find this video useful if you have make sure to give the video a like subscribe to my youtube channel if you haven't already and till I see next time stay creative folks [Applause]
Thanks folklorniu your participation is very much appreciated
- King Erler
About the author
I've studied seismology at Adelphi University in Garden City and I am an expert in ethics (outline). I usually feel enthralled. My previous job was alumni relations coordinator I held this position for 26 years, I love talking about auto racing and make-up. Huge fan of Sandra Bullock I practice judo and collect film memorabilia.
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