Colours and colour combinations play an important role in branding. In a crowded sector colours have the capacity to function as a powerful visual key, enabling consumers to easily distinguish between different products and brands. Trade mark rights granted for specific colours, or combinations of colours, are, therefore, powerful IP rights. The uncertainty surrounding how similar a colour must be to infringe a colour mark registration works in the favour of the owners of colour trade mark registrations – in extreme cases a colour mark registration may deter competitors from using all shades of that colour on/in relation to the same goods/services. Little surprise then that for some trade mark owners securing registered rights in colour marks has become a key strategic objective.
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