Cadbury retains hold over its trademark for a shade of purple

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This briefing considers trademark law in the UAE by comparison to Cadbury’s successful trademarking of a shade of purple in the UK.

It will be noted that the definition of a trademark requires a mark to “take a distinctive form” and single colours as such cannot be considered to be inherently distinctive. Despite this requirement of distinctiveness and the absence in the definition of specifically dealing with single colours (or even a combination of colours), the definition of a trademark has proven to be sufficiently wide to allow for the interpretation that a single colour can in fact function as a trademark in the UAE. This was confirmed by the registration in the UAE back in April 2007 of a single colour trademark for a shade of orange in respect of a particular rice product.

As single colour trademarks are considered less conventional and are not commonly applied for or as a rule accepted for registration, ongoing developments in respect of single colour trademarks in jurisdictions outside of the UAE remains of interest to trademark practitioners and owners in the UAE as it provides some guidance on the kind of considerations that may be relevant in applying for and objecting to single colour trademark applications here in the UAE…

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