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TTAB Overstepped While Nixing Color Trademark, Court Says (1)

April 8, 2020, 3:51 PMUpdated: April 8, 2020, 9:39 PM

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board erred in ruling that an undefined color trademark on packaging can’t be distinctive enough for registration unless consumers already recognize it as an indicator of product source, the Federal Circuit ruled.

The ruling comes after Forney Industries Inc., an industrial tools seller, appealed the board’s rejection of its application for a packaging trademark with a black stripe above a block of color fading from yellow into red.

The board’s decision overstated U.S. Supreme Court precedent by ruling that a multi-color mark without a particular shape or border can’t be “inherently distinctive,” the U.S. Court ...