Thirsk Winton LLP

What constitutes a trade mark

The main function of a trade mark is  to be an indication of origin and not allow for a monopoly over the market for a particular good or service. For example when you look at the famous tick you know that product is made by Nike. The question has been discussed many times whether a colour can be registered as a trade mark. Famous brands such as Louboutin and Cadbury have been through this process with different results. On the basis of trade mark law, if you see a red sole on a shoe, people tend to think that shoe has been made by Louboutin. This follows trade mark law as it is an indication of the origin of the product. But on the other side, it could be seen as having a monopoly over the market as no other shoe company could use the colour red on the soles of their shoes. Louboutin have been through many court actions on this matter with different results being held around the world.

Cadbury are famous for the purple wrapper for their chocolate bars and this too has been questioned for many years. The courts are very reluctant to grant trade mark protection over colours due to the monopoly that it would allow a company to have over the market.

Having trade mark protection in place can be beneficial for your brand and stop others from using your logo or wording you use to promote your business.

If you have a logo or branding for your company and want to add that extra protection, please do contact us here at Thirsk Winton to discuss the process. 

Craig Kelly is an associate solicitor in our corporate team, specialising in intellectual property, data protection and company matters.