wwwtesting - blue

Marco Krohn marco.krohn at gmx.de
Wed Jan 29 23:12:09 UTC 2003

On Wednesday 29 January 2003 21:18, Datschge at gmx.net wrote:

> How specific are "color trademarks" regarding the protected colors? I'd
> expect them to be exact RGB values, not some blurry specification...

I heard a lecture from a patent lawyer this semester and we only touched the 
topic "color" for a couple of minutes (the lecture was more about traditional 
trademarks, patents etc). What I remember though is that it is very very hard 
to defend a color in court.

For example the German Telekom tried to defend "its" color "magenta" but lost 
(at least afaik) in court [1,2] (it is probably interesting to read the 
comment [3] too).

On the other hand I am quite sure that some RGB value difference won't help at 
all (the difference between (x,y,z) and (x+1,y,z) is surely not perceivable) 
and defining a good measure for the "distance" of two colors is far from 
being trivial. Probably they do some kind of survey (seems they did it in [4] 
where they asked the addressed "community" ("angesprochene Verkehrskreise") 
to find out if they link a color combination with some company or not.)

My personal summary: use any color you like. I don't think there is any chance 
to get sued for this, and if they really do it, it will hurt them by far more 
than the KDE project. KDE probably infringing so many software patents that 
some stupid color trademark law will not add much to this anyway. All IMHO of 

best regards,

(disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor an expert in trademark law)

(sorry, but both all links are in German language only. Summary for the first 
two: the telekom sued another company because they used "their" color for 
ads, but telekom lost in court).
[1] http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/axv-26.07.01-001/
[2] http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/uma-04.03.02-002/

"Linus Torvalds on Patents:
I do not look up any patents on _principle_, because (a) it's a horrible waste 
of time and (b) I don't want to know. The fact is, technical people are 
better off not looking at patents. If you don't know what they cover and 
where they are, you won't be knowingly infringing on them. If somebody sues 
you, you change the algorithm or you just hire a hit-man to whack the stupid 

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