Blog

Love it or leave it: Brown color from UPS

Posted by ipelton on: March 23rd, 2012

Brown can be a boring color. It is certainly not a snazzy or noticeable as a brighter more colorful color (does that make sense?). But UPS has adopted brown as its color of choice. And they have done an outstanding job of protecting it is a trademark and making it a cornerstone of their brand.

UPS’ brown is a textbook example of a color trademark. Its use is consistent: trucks, logos, uniforms, etc. And the word is used in “look for” advertising that directs consumers to pay attention to the color – best encapsulated by the “What can Brown do for you?” slogan.

Here are some of the UPS registrations related to the color brown [click for USPTO records]:

  • – Motor vehicle transportation of personal property [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the design of a delivery truck which includes a Bubble Nose hood and rounded roof over the truck’s cab, a design of a half-sphere globe, “UPS” within a shield device, the wording “WORLDWIDE DELIVERY SERVICES”, “1-800 PICK UPS”, and “WWW.UPS.COM” on the side of the delivery truck.]
  • – motor vehicle transportation and delivery of personal property [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the color brown applied to the vehicles used in performing the services.]
  • – delivery of personal property by air, rail, boat and motor vehicle [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the color brown which is applied to the clothing. The matter shown in the drawing in broken lines serves to show positioning of the mark and no claim is made to the configuration of the uniform.]
  • BROWN – Transportation and delivery of personal property by air, rail, boat and motor vehicle
  • BROWN – Headgear, namely, baseball hats and caps, and visors; Shirts; all used in connection with promoting or providing transportation and delivery services
  • WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? – Transportation and delivery of personal property by air, rail, boat and motor vehicle
  • BIG BROWN TRUCK – Transportation and delivery of personal property by air, rail, boat and motor vehicle
  • – Transportation and delivery of personal property by air and motor vehicle [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the color chocolate brown, which is the approximate equivalent of Pantone Matching System 462C, as applied to the entire surface of vehicles and uniforms. The mark consists of the color brown alone. The broken lines indicate the position of the mark and do not form part of the mark.]

Color trademarks can be very powerful and very useful. They can be difficult and expensive to obtain – the amount of evidence necessary to show the color as acquired distinctiveness in relation to the goods or services can be substantial. But UPS is a great example of how it can be done and how strong it can make the brand.

Comments are closed.