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April 28, 2011

Supreme Court Provides Standard for Determining Distinctiveness of Color Combinations

World Trademark Review

The Supreme Court of Thailand has held that a combination of colors used by Shell Brands International AG was distinctive (Decision 2183-2184/2553, July 22, 2010). A combination of two or more colors can be registered under the Thai Trademark Act. However, there are currently few examples of combinations of colors registered as trademarks in Thailand: the owners of such marks rarely seek registration, and a number of applications have been rejected by the Trademark Registrar on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness. However, the decision of the Supreme Court in the present case may offer encouragement to prospective registrants, as it provides a guide for determining the distinctiveness of a combination of colors.

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