So, you’re preparing to file a federal trademark application and you’re concerned because your trademark includes a color or colors. For example, your font is in the color red. How do you describe these colors to guarantee protection?
The first question is whether you wish to claim color at all. Sometimes, more flexibility is gained by filing the trademark in black and white. That way you can modify your color scheme later if you wish, and not have to register the newer incarnations of the mark. However, you will not be protecting the colors in that case, only the underlying words and design. If, however, you’re sure you want to include colors in your application, read on.
If you wish to proceed with registration of a trademark that includes colors, the drawing submitted with the application must show the mark in color. In addition, the application must include:
When describing the color, you can use the generic name and if you wish, you can claim a reference to a commercial color identification system such as Pantone. Of course, the examining attorney has the discretion to require that the applicant indicate shades of a color, if necessary to accurately describe the mark.
You may have viewed trademarks in the USPTO database in which colors in a trademark application are indicated by special lines or dots referred to a “stippling and lining”. Don’t worry. Stippling and lining are not required for trademark applications filed after November 2, 2003