The global colour authority, Pantone, has recently increased its colour bank to 2,310 shades with the introduction of 210 contemporary creations, including Bright Chartreuse (Pantone 14-0445), Puffin's Bill (Pantone 16-1363), and Sea Turtle (19-0403).

This expansion of the Pantone palette spectrum is welcome news to trade mark applicants throughout the EU, where a colour trade mark is only per seregisterable if it is capable of, amongst other things, being graphically represented. To be capable of being graphically represented, a colour must be clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable, and objective. These seven standards have previously created difficulties for colour trade mark applicants because, for example, the durability condition may preclude an applicant from registering a colour mark by reference to a paper sample or fabric swatch which will fade over time and therefore fail to provide a sufficiently permanent or consistent point of reference.

So, it is Pantone to the rescue! With its powers of standardisation, accessibility, and clarity, reference to a shade within this internationally recognised colour code will generally constitute a satisfactory graphic representation for the purposes of meeting the application formalities.

Given the increasing conversation brand owners are having surrounding trademarking colours, this facilitation of the application process could not have come at a better time!