Color Trademarks

Trade Mark a Color in South Africa

The South African Trade Marks Act specifically provides for the registration of non-conventional trade marks, such as colors. A mark is defined as any sign capable of being represented graphically including, patterns, shapes, configurations, colors or containers for goods. Just like a Brand name or logo, colors can provide an identity and unifying feature for an organisation. Color schemes can sometimes be even more useful when identifying a brand such as a sports team, because they are highly distinctive and instantly recognisable, even from a distance.

The term “trade mark” should not be confused with ownership of color. Trademarking a color simply gives an organisation exclusive rights to use a particular color in its own industry or in most cases for their very specific products.

A non-conventional trade mark is a type of trade mark which does not belong to any pre-existing trademark category. Non-conventional trade marks are often difficult to register, but fulfils the essential trademark function of uniquely identifying the brand. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights sets down a standardised inclusive legal definition.

Non-conventional Trademarks
Visible signs (colors, shapes, moving images, holograms, positions)
Non-visible signs (sounds, scents, tastes, textures).

When you don’t Trade Mark a color

Simply by using a color scheme for a long enough time can give you rights to those colors. However, the burden of demonstrating trade mark rights in the color scheme during a dispute can potentially be reduced or even eliminated by obtaining a trade mark registration.

Examples of Color Trade Marks

More information regarding Trade Marks:

Trade Mark a color in South Africa – The South African Trade Marks Act specifically provides for the registration of non-conventional trade marks, such as colors. A mark is defined as any sign capable of being represented graphically including, shapes…

Trade Mark Search – It is always advisable that the trade mark be searched before the application is made. In order to be considered register-able, your trade mark must be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of your competitors…

Trade Mark Requirements – It serves the purpose of distinguishing the goods/services of one trader from those of another trader. It does not consist exclusively of a sign or an indication which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended…

Trade Mark Application Requirements – We would require you to provide us with a copy of your intended trademark – be it a simple name or slogan, or a stylised logo. We would also require details of all products or services that you intend…

Trade Mark Exclusions – Marks that may NOT be Registered: Emblems fall under the protection of the Merchandise Marks Act. The following are regarded as state emblems: Seal of the Republic, Coat of Arms of the Republic…

Trade Mark Costs – Contact us to request prices for trade mark searches, applications, renewals and trade mark assignments….

International Trade Mark Protection – Your mark should be registered in the countries in which you offer your products or services under that mark. You should also consider filing in countries where you intend to use the mark in the future…

Trade Mark Protection in South Africa – A trade mark is a mark which distinguishes your goods or services from goods or services of others in South Africa, or elsewhere. Trade  Marks are register-able in terms of the South African Trade Marks…