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Colour marks have been equally debatable before and after they became registrable in few countries. Before some landmark cases set the broad legal framework for colour mark protection, debates centred on the registrability. Nowadays, registrability remains an issue, but heightened debates have been surrounding the conditions and interpretations of this non-traditional mark. With the increasing importance of marks for businesses and organizations, colour mark issues have become internationally controversial. This Global IP debate thus, opens with two landmark cases: Qualitex v Jacobson and BP v Woolworths. It then focuses on some conceptual issues relevant to the colour mark itself, its origin with relevant exemplar cases and historical evolvement, to enrich the legal framework and accumulate case experience to resolve colour mark disputes. Next, this column discusses the debates for or against colour mark registrations by drawing arguments and reasoning from scholars and practitioners. The debate ends with some reflections and a possible solution.


Originally published under Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India


National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR)


New Delhi

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Journal of Intellectual Property Rights