TMEP 1202.05(d)(i): Drawings of Color Marks in Trademark Applications

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.05(d)(i)    Drawings of Color Marks in Trademark Applications

In most cases, the proposed color mark drawing will consist of a representation of the product or product package. The drawing of the mark must be a substantially exact representation of the mark as used, or intended to be used, on the goods. 37 C.F.R. §2.51. A depiction of the object on which the color is used is needed to meet this requirement.

The object depicted on the drawing should appear in broken or dotted lines. The broken or dotted lines inform the viewer where and how color is used on the product or product package, while at the same time making it clear that the shape of the product, or the shape of the product package, is not claimed as part of the mark. 37 C.F.R. §2.52(b)(4); TMEP §807.08. In the absence of a broken-line drawing, the USPTO will assume that the proposed mark is a composite mark consisting of the product shape, or the product package shape, in a particular color.

Color used on multiple goods

If the proposed color mark is used on multiple goods, the drawing required will depend on the nature of the goods. The drawing of the mark must be a substantially exact representation of the mark as used, or intended to be used, on the goods. 37 C.F.R. §2.51. A drawing consisting of a depiction of only one of the goods will be accepted if the goods, or the portions of the goods on which the color appears, are similar in form and function so that a depiction of only one of the goods is still a substantially exact representation of the mark as used on all of the goods. For example, if the mark is the color purple used on refrigerators and freezers, a drawing of a purple freezer shown in broken lines (with a description of the mark claiming the color purple and indicating that it is used on the freezer) would be sufficient. Or, if the mark is the color pink used on the handles of rakes, shovels, and hoes, a drawing of any of those items depicted in dotted lines (with a description of the mark claiming the color pink and stating that the handle is pink) would be sufficient. Or, if the mark consists of product packaging for various food items that is always blue with a pink circle, a drawing of any one of the packages shown in dotted lines (with a description of the mark claiming the colors blue and pink and describing the location of the colors on the packaging) would be sufficient.

If the proposed color mark is used on multiple goods that are dissimilar or unrelated, or if color is used in different ways on different goods, so that a depiction of one of the goods is not a substantially exact representation of the mark as used on all of the goods (e.g., the color purple used on microscopes and vending machines), a separate application must be submitted for each item.

Color used on liquids or powders

Sometimes a color mark consists of color(s) used on liquids or powders. For example, the mark might consist of fuchsia body oil or red, white, and blue granular washing machine detergent. In these cases, the nature of the drawing will depend on the manner of use of the liquid or powder. If the liquid or powder is visible through the product package, the drawing should consist of the shape of the product package shown in broken or dotted lines, with the description of the mark identifying the color(s) of the liquid or powder.