Interior Paints & Finishes

8 Colors You Didn’t Know Were Trademarked

Thanks to marketing and advertising, consumers often associate colors with a particular brand—think Tiffany Blue or Post-it canary yellow. Some companies trademark their signature hues to ensure that competitors can’t steal their recognizable shades (and their business). Here are 8 bold and beautiful colors that are officially registered to familiar brands.

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Tiffany Blue 

Among the oldest and most historic trademarked colors is Tiffany Blue, which is affiliated with iconic jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. The founder of the company, Charles Lewis Tiffany, first used the distinctive robin’s-egg blue shade in 1845—possibly because turquoise jewelry was commonly associated with weddings in the 19th century.

Related: The Cheapest Gifts from the Fanciest Home Brands

John Deere Yellow and Green 

John Deere, the famous lawn care and agricultural equipment manufacturer, owns its signature yellow-and-green paint combination. While competitors could probably get away with painting their tractors green, John Deere could prevent them from pairing it with bright yellow.

Related: 9 Mowing Mistakes Everyone Makes

DeWalt Yellow and Black 

Are you a fan of DeWalt power tools? Then you’ll be pleased to know that its parent company, Black & Decker, won a court settlement in 2015 to the tune of $54 million when it sued competitor Rockwell Tools for appropriating its trademark yellow-and-black color scheme.

Related: 7 Tools That Contractors Swear By

Fiskars Orange

Wikimedia Commons via Evan-amos

Can you imagine Fiskars scissors with red handles? That early color concept was discarded in favor of their now-famous pumpkin orange, thanks to a happy accident involving leftover plastic. The orange color is now trademarked in the United States and Canada as well as in the company’s country of origin, Finland.

Related: 10 Color Mistakes Everyone Makes

Post-it Canary Yellow 

Post-it’s iconic canary yellow was also somewhat of a fluke. According to 3M company lore, the lab that was testing the Post-it adhesive borrowed paper from the lab next store, which happened to have some yellow scrap paper. The color (pun intended) stuck. Now this distinctive shade of yellow helps people in over 150 countries stay organized.

Related: 10 Ways to Organize Your Home with Color

3M Purple

A popular manufacturer of home and office supplies, 3M has ownership over the color purple—at least for some specific uses. Sure, people can still paint their home with the protected color, but anyone who uses it on a competing product would be infringing on 3M’s trademark protection.

Related: 11 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Paint DIYs

UPS Brown 

UPS has trademarked its signature Pullman brown, which was selected to represent the brand in 1916—in part because it channeled high-class Pullman railroad cars. The neutral color also hid grime on UPS delivery vehicles, thus keeping the fleet looking polished and professional.

Related: 10 Reliable Products That Have 100+ Years of Good Reviews

Cadbury Purple 

One of the most contentious color trademark cases is also the most delicious. Cadbury has attempted to seal the rights to its blazing purple label, but court cases have gone back and forth, demonstrating just how difficult it is to claim ownership of a color.

Related: The Most Popular Paint Colors in America