Prince's estate files trademark claim for specific shade of purple

Other companies have trademarked colours used in certain contexts. 

Kristin Hugo
New York
Tuesday 30 October 2018 19:18 GMT

The estate of late musician Prince has reportedly filed a claim to trademark a particular shade of the colour purple.

If successful film and music producers could be banned from using it.

Paisley Park Enterprises Inc, set up in memory of the singer, filed a trademark application for “Love Symbol #2, which it claims is the “official colour across the brand he left behind,” ABC News reported.

Prince often wore the colour purple and planning to tour with a piano that was the same shade as Love Symbol #2 before he died.

While it is impossible to patent a colour, it is possible to trademark one for certain uses.

For example, if you started selling jewellery in Tiffany blue boxes, you would be in trouble; that’s why the colour “Tiffany Blue” isn’t listed in pantone guides. To win a lawsuit against someone using that colour on their boxes, Tiffany would have to argue that they were using the colour to try to create confusion in the marketplace.

If the estate wins the trademark, it doesn’t mean that no one could use that particular shade of purple for any purpose. It would only mean that, without permission from the trademark holder, no one could use it for film and musical performances in a way that leads the audience to associate them with Prince.

Prince and his estate are famously protective of their copyrighted material. In 2016, Universal Music even filed a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice on a video of people singing the song “Purple Rain.” A large group of people in Minneapolis were singing the song as tribute to the late singer just after his death.

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