Judgment of European Court of Justice: Red Bull may not register blue-silver as color trademark, Handelsblatt spoke to Dr. Carsten Albrecht
A well-known soft drink manufacturer sought to register as a color trademark the color combination blue and silver that had been used by the manufacturer for a long time. A Polish company filed suit in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to oppose trademark protection. The Court has now decided that, as it is, the color trademark for which the manufacturer has applied cannot be registered because registration would require a more exact description. The news agency dpa spoke about the outcome of the proceeding with Dr. Carsten Albrecht, a trademark lawyer and expert on abstract color trademarks at the Hamburg office of FPS. According to Dr. Albrecht, the consequences of the decision are far-reaching because the decision may affect other large companies. In the worst-case scenario, "companies may establish a color combination at great expense and others will then free-ride and exploit that combination."