On September 15, 2022 the IP Court dismissed a lawsuit by the Russian giant online marketplace Wildberries OOO, and upheld Rospatent refusal to register Pantone 254C as a color trademark.
In May 2020, Wildberries filed an application for registration of violet “Pantone 254C” color as a trademark with regards to services in class 35. However, the application was refused, and Appeal filed with RosPatent Chamber for Patent Disputes yielded no positive results. Rospatent has found the appealed designation to be not sufficiently distinctive to satisfy the trademark criteria and concluded that a color as such cannot be an object of registration.
To overcome this decision, Wildberries lawyers filed a lawsuit against Rospatent in the IP Court, stressing its long use of Pantone 254C violet, which, as has been confirmed by the poll results, has become associated for most of customers with the Wildberries marketplace. Further, none of the other marketplaces currently acting in Russia is using the same color as their trade dress, such as office furnishing and other commercial merchandise.
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The Court, however, has arrived at a conclusion that no distinctiveness for the color as such has been acquired through its use by Wildberries company. Most designations, actually used by the Claimant and referred to as the evidence, do have other elements, such as words, abbreviations and figures. Moreover, these designations mostly do not exactly have Pantone 254C color background. And there were quite a few other market players which use shades of violet for their Internet trade activities. The poll survey was conducted only after the application was filed and its results were, in fact, not so convincing to confirm that for majority of the customers the color was definitely associated with the Claimant. Therefore, the Court supported the Office and dismissed the lawsuit.
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