• Seeing Red: Recent Developments in the Trademark Functionality Doctrine
  • November 26, 2012 | Author: Katherine Laatsch Fink
  • Law Firm: Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. - Chicago Office
  • As color and aesthetics have become increasingly important to brand identity, those features have been subject to judicial scrutiny regarding their ability to serve as trademarks in the past year. For example, when we see a robin’s-egg blue box, we think Tiffany & Co. (Tiffany). Not surprisingly, Tiffany has trademark registrations protecting its iconic blue box. But what if robin’segg blue served as a “function” for the box or otherwise significantly inhibited competition by limiting the range of alternative designs for a box? According to the functionality doctrine of trademark law, it may not be protectable.