Earlier this month, the Pantone Color Institute announced its Color of the Year for 2023, Pantone No. 18-1750 “Viva Magenta” (think a brighter, more berry version of red velvet cake). [1]

Pantone Color of the Year 2023

In selecting the color representing the spirit of the moment, Pantone says that Viva Magenta “vibrates with vim and vigor.” A shade having its roots in nature (specifically, an insect from which the natural reddish dye carmine is derived), Viva Magenta is “expressive of a new signal of strength … a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.”

As with picks from prior years, expect color-savvy designers and marketers to apply the Viva Magenta paintbrush to all manner of personal and home fashions, consumer products, splash advertisements, and other online content, including products and services in the metaverse. Capitalizing on its own color-influencing power, Pantone led the way by partnering with Motorola, Lenovo, and other companies to introduce its 2023 color – and products saturated with said color – to influencers at an immersive exhibition led by technology/art studio ARTECHOUSE, the “Magentaverse!”

If you are thinking about tinging the face of your brand with Viva Magenta (or another color) digitally, virtually, or in real life, we encourage you to consider the following before moving forward:

  • Conduct a clearance search to determine whether the color(s) of interest are available for trademark use with your goods and services;
  • Check existing registrations for any current color marks to see if they are due for maintenance. If so, consider adopting the new color(s) for only select models/SKUs to allow you to maintain your existing registrations if they remain of interest;
  • Consult with any relevant industry and regulatory teams before adopting a new color scheme to confirm that it is neither misleading of the nature of your product, nor likely to create consumer confusion or to cause harm.

Federal registration of color marks (particularly single color marks) continues to be a challenge. To improve your brand’s chances of registering a color mark, remember to instruct consumers to look for your brand’s color in the marketplace, use the color consistently to reinforce its association with your brand, and avoid referring to any functional attributes of the color – e.g., the ease of visibility of the color orange – since functional color marks are never registrable.

[1] https://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year/2023

This article appeared in the December 2022 issue of MarkIt to Market®. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.

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