General Question

XOIIO's avatar

The colour brown is trademarked?

Asked by XOIIO (18320points) July 19th, 2011

How can UPS apply a trademark to the colour brown? Anyone can use brown, that doesn’t make sense.

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9 Answers

Nullo's avatar

It makes more sense to have trademarked the word as it refers to the company, such that another company couldn’t start saying, “What can brown do for you?”

SavoirFaire's avatar

They have only trademarked the specific shade of brown they use (Pullman brown), and primarily to prevent other shipping companies from using it to create what is called “market confusion.” It doesn’t prevent anyone from using the color brown—unless it can be shown that it is to take unfair advantage of UPS and its reputation.

Vortico's avatar

This is similar to T-Mobile “owning” the color magenta. In this case, you cannot use T-Mobile’s shade of magenta if your company is in the tele-communications sector.

flutherother's avatar

And BP has registered a shade of green (Pantone 348C) as their distinctive trademark.

everephebe's avatar

“Silence is golden” is no a registered trademark too. What O’ What is the world coming to?

downtide's avatar

You can trademark a specific colour in a specific context. For instance UPS can trademark that exact shade of brown as used in the livery of a shipping/delivery company. But if someone wanted to use that same shade for something entirely different, or use a different shade of brown, that would not breach the trademark.

geebseye's avatar

Yes, I agree with downtide, it depends on the particular context.

wilma's avatar

There are others, for example John Deere Green, Tiffany Blue, Cadbury Purple.

Silence04's avatar

When a company receives a trademark (aka Rights protection for use in trade), ever element of the design is covered under the trademark. Color, shape, style, design, layout, typography, etc.

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