Due to the fact that “color alone is not unique enough & not recognized by the ordinary consumer as a trademark” (according to the IPO’s stated methodological guidelines), single-color trademarks are hardly ever eligible for protection in Serbia.
Color trademarks registration in Serbia
While multiple-color trademarks can qualify as distinctive, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Distinctiveness can be inherent or developed over time through use. The capacity of the general public to discern between the goods of different vendors in the marketplace is the key problem.
Distinctiveness for single-color markings may only be acquired through use. The applicant must show that the color is acquired unique and that it is not generic or functional in relation to the goods and services for which the mark is being used. The applicant must provide proof of continuous, substantial usage that demonstrates the location, timing, and breadth of use at the time of application or as soon as possible after.
- If a large enough portion of the relevant public associates the color in question with the brand, the single-color mark will be considered distinctive. The Serbian IP Office will take into consideration:
- quantity of sales;
- the time that the sign has been in use on the Serbian market;
- level of marketing; and
- degree of recognition by the public (usually proven through market research).
If the mark consists of a color and a certain shape − as long as it is not a generic shape (eg, a circle or triangle) − it should be registrable.
The international registration shown above is one of the uncommon examples of a registration in the nation; serious and long-term usage must precede such an application for it to be successful. The Serbian IP Office has a high barrier for judging the distinctiveness of a single-color mark.