What is a Colour Trademark?

Trademark Rules, 2017 create the new regime by including the provisions of colour marks in the new rules. Colour-mark is one of the non-conventional trademarks which is consisting single or combination of colours to identify the goods or services from a business.

It is hard to imagine how colour can become a trademark. We see colours everywhere. But the right to register a colour as a trademark is secured by law. In order to get the colour trademark registration, the colour must be capable of identifying the goods/services from others. You can register a colour as a trademark:

  • Single Colour Trademark; one colour register as a trademark if it is peculiar in business.
  • Combination of Colours Trademark; more than one colours or combination of colours register as a trademark if it is unique.

What is a Colour Trademark?

Section 10 of the Act states that a trademark can be limited to a particular colour or combinations of colours. So it is allowed by the law to register one colour or combination of colour as a trademark for identifying the origin of the goods or services.

The best example of a colour trademark is “Pink” for Vanish. They get a possibility to prove that their colour trademark can distinguish the goods sold under such trademark from those of another manufacturer through marketing.


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What are the characteristics of a Colour Trademark?

  • In accordance with The Trade Marks Act, 1999 "mark" includes a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, the shape of goods, packaging or combination of colours or any combination thereof.
  • It is allowed by the law to register one colour or combination of colour as a trademark.
  • If the applicant decides to claim a trademark protection for a particular colour, he will be required to submit evidence to show that the said colour combination or colour that has been claimed is solely associated with the Applicant or exclusively designates their goods.
  • So it will be helpful if the applicant could show that the particular colour is associated with the Applicant and his goods and/or services.
  • To register a trademark, the application should be capable of graphical representation. Also, the application should have with it a reproduction of the mark in black and white and four reproductions in colour.

 

Why choose the combination of colours to register as a trademark instead of single colour?

After an introduction of Trademark Rules, 1999 single colours or combination of colours are allowed to register as a trademark in India. However, the applicant should keep in mind that it is very hard to register a single colour.

It is difficult to register a single colour due to lack of distinctiveness. The applicant will be required to submit evidence to prove the association of the colour with the product/service. In case of the combination of colours the applicant required to mention its distinctiveness at the time of filing.


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