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Trademarks are used to uniquely identity goods and services from a particular business or organisation. For most people, trademarks are synonymous with brand registration, as trademark registration is used extensively to protect brand names, slogans and logos. However, trademark registration can also be obtained for unique colors, shapes, sounds and smells that are used to represent a business.

In order to obtain trademark registration for a color, the color or combination of colors must be capable for distinguishing the goods or services of one entity from those of other entities. For instance, if a particular color of packaging has become associated with goods of a certain business, then a color trademark registration can be obtained. On the other hand, if the colors are used not in a special or particular pattern or arrangement, then the likelihood of obtaining a color trademark is slim as it would be difficult to prove that the color lends distinctiveness as a badge of origin.

What are the characteristics of a Color 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 colors or any combination thereof.
  • It is allowed by the law to register one color or combination of color as a trademark.
  • If the applicant decides to claim a trademark protection for a particular color, he will be required to submit evidence to show that the said color combination or color 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 color 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 color.

Single Color Trademark

Single color trademark registrations are granted only in very peculiar cases, as most of the average consumers are not in the habit of making assumptions about the origin of goods and services based solely on their color or the color of packaging. However, a single color may be registrable as a trade mark if it is very unusual and peculiar in a business and is recognized by businesses and consumers alike that it serves as a badge of origin for that class of goods. Hence, majority of trademark applications for single color trademark are liable to objection by the Trademark Examiner, as they inherently lack the capacity to distinguish.

Combination of Colors Trademark

A combination of colors may be registrable, if they are unique and can be used to distinguish good or services from a certain source. If the colors are presented as a figurative mark, then as few as two colors could be accepted. However, if the colors are simply the colors of the packaging of the products, then they are harder to be trademarked.

To obtain color trademark registration for a combination of colors that are applied to the goods or their packaging, it will be necessary to prove that the colors are likely to strike the relevant consumer as an indication of trade source. For example, it is unlikely that the average consumer of washing soaps would view color combinations such as blue and white as an indication of trade source – as many of the washing soaps use such colors. Hence, to obtain color registration which are merely applied to the goods or their packaging, strong evidence should be presented to overcome any objection raised in the Trademark Examiner report


Why choose the combination of colors to register as a trademark instead of single color?

After an introduction of Trademark Rules, 1999 single colors or combination of colors 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 color.

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

For further more information related to trademark registrationform, the procedure of registering a trademark, documents required for trademark registration, you can call us at 8788091087. Our experts are available here to advise you the best in the matter of register logo. You can also send your query on Email: info@herambindia.com. Visit our website: Herambindia and through the Trademark search, you can protect yourself from the matter of Trademark infringement.

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21 July, 2018

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