The Impact of Registration of a Single Color as a Trademark on Unfair Competition

A Comparative Study

Abstract

The application for registration of non-traditional signs as trademarks has been increasing over the last two decades. “Single Color” is one of those non-traditional signs which has been applied for, especially in the U.K and U.S.A. Similarly, the Iraqi Trademark Law has allowed registration of colors as a trademark. However, the case law argues whether a single color may satisfy the requirements for registration of a trademark. On the other hand, the risks of color exhaustion and the anticompetitive effects of color monopolies are the main concerns on allowing the registration of single color trademarks. Therefore, protection of such trademarks from unfair competition might be difficult.

References

Legislations and Treaties:
The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 1995.
The UK Trademarks Act 1994.
The Iraqi Trademark and Geographical Indications Law No. 21 of 1957 (as Amended in 2004).
The Iraqi Competition and Monopoly Prevention Law No. 14 of 2010.
The Iraqi Consumer Protection Law No. 1 of 2010.
The Iraqi Trade Law No. 149 of 1970 (revoked).
The Iraqi Trade Law No. 30 of 1984.
Directive (2008/95/EC). The Laws of the Member States Relating To Trademarks. L 299/25.
Council Regulation (EC) No. 207/2009 on the Community Trademark. L78/1.
Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. (1957). Part Three: Union Policies and Internal Actions - Title Vii: Common Rules on Competition, Taxation and Approximation of Laws.

Cases:
Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV v. Remington Consumer Products Ltd. (2002). Case 299/99. ECR I – 5475.
Libertel Groep BV v. Benelux-Merenbureau. (2003). Case C-104/01. ECR I-3793.
Ralf Sieckmann v. Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (‘Methylcinnamat’). (2002). Case C-273/00. ECR I-11737.
Sat.1 SatellitenFernsehen GmbH v. Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. (2004). Case C-329/02 P.
Canon Kabushiki Kaisha v Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (1998). Case C-39/97. ECR I-05507.
Decision of the Third Board of Appeal. (18 December 2000). Case R 122/1998-3.
Orange Personal Communication Service Ltd, Third Board of Appeal OHIM (February 12, 1998). Case R 7/97-3. ETMR 337.
Decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal. (28 August 2002). Case R 785/2000-4.
KUKA Roboter GmbH v. OHIM. (2010). Case T-97/08. C 301/41.
Diamond Match v. Saginaw Match Co. (1906). 142 F. 727 (6th Cir.).
Freixenet, SA v. OHIM. (2010). Case No. T-110/08.
Deutsche SiSi-Werke GmbH & Co. Betriebs KG v. Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, Court of First Instance. (2004). Joined Cases T-146/02 to T-153/02.
Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co. (1995). 514 U.S. 159.
Societe des Produits Nestle SA v. Cadbury UK Ltd. (2012). EWHC 2637.

Books:
Basm Mohamad Salih. (1987). Commercial Law: Part One, General Theory on Traders and Commercial Contracts, University of Baghdad.
Josef Drexl. (2008). Research handbook on intellectual property and competition law (Cheltenham Edward Elgar).
Kolstad O. (2008). Competition law and intellectual property rights – outline of an economic-based approach.
Tanya Aplin and Jennifer Davis. (2009). Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (1st Edition, OUP).
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Research Papers:
Lara Adil Jabar. (2017). Competition Protection in Telecommunications sector. Master Thesis presented to College of Law, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Published
2020-02-19
How to Cite
AHMAD, Awara Azad. The Impact of Registration of a Single Color as a Trademark on Unfair Competition. Journal of University of Human Development, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 27-34, feb. 2020. ISSN 2411-7765. Available at: <http://journals.uhd.edu.iq/index.php/juhd/article/view/692>. Date accessed: 04 apr. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.21928/juhd.v6n1y2020.pp27-34.
Section
Articles