The fashion industry thrives because of the consuming public's desire to be affiliated with appealing brands. Some of these coveted brands are best identified by particular colors-for example, Tiffany & Co.'s blue, Hermes's orange, and Christian Louboutin's red. Others are internationally known for specific designs that incorporate color-such as Missoni's vibrant patterns. While these colors may be well- recognized symbols of specific brands, and thus deserving of trademark protection, designers rely on a broad and unrestricted array of colors in order to continue conjuring up the latest trends for each new season. Due to these often-competing interests inherent to the industry, fashion designers seeking protection for their single- color trademarks or their identifying use of colors in a design encounter significant challenges.
The Supreme Court, echoing Congress's intent to define trademark broadly, denied a per se exclusion to the protection of single-color trademarks,' but perhaps the fashion industry's fundamental dependence on color renders the protection of single-color marks particularly problematic.
Hardly a Black-and-White Matter: Analyzing the Validity and Protection of Single-Color Trademarks Within the Fashion Industry,
66 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol66/iss3/6