• TM Registration

Do I need to specify color for logo trademark registration?


A trademark is generally accepted if it fulfills at least one of the accepted forms of graphical representation such as shape, color, sound, scent, moving marks, holograms, and pictorial/word/figurative marks with color. Although those descriptions are straightforward, it can be confusing when deciding about the concept of color, colored trademark, and color by itself or a combination for use as trademark.

To be able to present a correct graphical representation of your trademark, you need to understand the following points:


Color by Itself or Combination

If the trademark consists only of colors, it is recommended that the applicant include a designation of the colors or shades using a recognized coding system. There are plenty of color code identification systems to use and it is up to the proprietor to choose the system for the application. There should also be a description in the application form indicating whether the trademark will be applied to the goods or the packaging. It can be difficult to register colors per se as trademarks because of the following: the colors are recognized as serving a function for consumers, which means they convey a general meaning or provide particular results; the colors are common to the trade, which means they are the natural color of the products or a lot of traders are using the same color.


Color Limitation

Color limitation is the claiming of rights to a device, word or a combination in particular to color or colors. This needs an unambiguous representation of the trademark with a description that says the trademark is limited only to specific color or colors. As this is a specific use of color or colors, you will need to use a recognized coding system as well.


Color with Other Features

If the color or colors are not necessarily the distinct features of a trademark, the pictorial, figurative, or word mark with the colors are more important. The colors are treated as a feature of the trademark but there is no color limitation needed. Additionally, there is no need to use color codes for identification of the marks because it is acknowledged that the trademark is still the same even with the tonal differences.


Black and White

If the trademark is graphically represented as black and white, it means that the proprietor does not have to claim specific colors for that trademark. There is no need to specify the color cods and the representation is accepted as it is even if it appears in color. For trademarks like these, the distinct feature is the pattern or template, not the colors used.