Trademarking Colours

Trademarking Colours

The commencement of the Spring/Summer Fashion Week 2024 has seen luxury brands display their designs on the ramp again. Apart from designer clothes, this year also saw the debut of new signature colours of two beloved luxury brands-Burberry and Gucci. Alongside Hermes’s ‘Orange H’, Valentino’s ‘PP Pink’, Tiffany and Co’s ‘Tiffany Blue’ etc. Burberry and Gucci have entered this season with their new signature colours ‘Knight Blue’ and ‘Rosso Ancora’.

Burberry’s Knight Blue:

Analogous to Yves Klein’s ‘International Klein Blue’, Burberry came forward with this colour named ‘Knight Blue’ to use in their new designs and also to supplement their brand image by using it in the promotional campaign of this season’s collection by featuring it in the Bond Street Tube Station renamed to Burberry street during the London Fashion Week.

Setting aside the aggressive marketing campaign to establish this blue as their signature colour this time around, it is a matter of great debate whether Burberry can attain trademark protection for it.

Apart from this, it must be mentioned that the brand name ‘Burberry’ is a huge asset for the fashion house with their famed tartan trademark securing four instances of trademark protection owing to variations in the design (Registration Nos. 017215237, 017215245, 017535832, 017535816).

Gucci’s Rosso Ancora:

The display of Sabato de Sarno’s highly anticipated show in Milan saw the Gucci Ancora collection being lauded for the distinctive yet minimalist glamour it was able to portray through its designs. The collection came with a new signature colour for Gucci- the Rosso Ancora. The colour may be identified as a deep and rich shade of oxblood that is only a few shades darker than the red in Gucci’s well-known tri-stripe motif and was inspired by the inside of London’s 5-star Savoy hotel where the founder of the fashion brand, Guccio Gucci used to work. Furthermore, to make the launch of the colour more impactful, Gucci has taken the help of metaverse platforms like Roblox, Zepeto and QQ.

However, to establish the colour as distinctive for a trademark would require a thorough and meticulous strategy even for Gucci.

Gucci currently has 29 registered trademarks in the EUIPO alone.

A colour, if distinctive enough can revolve the image of a brand. It is one of the core visual elements of the brand and can act as a strong element for the identification of the brand. The intelligent selection of colours has a huge psychological impact as consumers generally associate colours with preconceived notions they possess, influencing their choice in purchasing the goods of that particular brand. Another example of a trademarked colour is Christian Louboutin’s Red from his red-soled shoes.

The colours ‘Knight Blue’ and ‘Rosso Ancora’ are yet to be trademarked by the brands. Astute brand strategy and planning are essential if the brands truly want to make these colours an element for the identification of their brands.


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