UPS Trademarks “the color brown”

For my day job, I do a fair amount of shipping through UPS, who just updated their shipping software.  It’s still shitty software and doesn’t do some of the most basic tasked required of shipping (hello separate address books?) but something about the latest loading page caught my eye :


Copyright 1999-2007 United Parcel Service of America, Inc.  UPS, the UPS Brandmark, the color brown, and UPS WorldShip are trademarks of United Parcel Service Of America, Inc.  All right reserved.

Oh yeah, they’ve trademarked the color brown!  Awesome!

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    What you see is true, it’s part of the reason Pantone is so successful. A specific color can be trademarked, or so I hear. They give it a Pantone “name” and a formula to produce it, and it becomes Your Color, instead of “brown #38”.


    Plus, the trademark only applies for advertising or packaging related to delivery services. You can’t open “Tiki’s Package Delivery Service” and paint your trucks that particular shade of brown. However, you can open “Tiki’s House Painting Company” and specialize in painting houses that shade of brown, because that business wouldn’t confuse customers of UPS. In fact, you could then apply for a trademark on that same shade of brown for house painting and probably get it. (Too serious… I prefer photos of topless, lovely, young women of any particular shade you like…) This comment was brought to you today by… Read more »


    …and the letters: U, P, and S.


    Yeah, Cadbury also own purple and the Royal Mail own red. I was happy.


    How do you trademark refractive light?!

    Greedy bastards.

    Howie Feltersnatch

    It’s true. Every time you take a crap, you have to pay UPS $0.25 per turd.

    Unless you’ve been eating that green chutney stuff and that turns your shit that gross yellow color. Then you’re fine.


    OMFG We just got the 10.0 update and I just checked the package.

    I’m gonna trademark “Tire Black” and “Beer Piss Yellow”.

    That could get expensive indeed.


    @Smed: TRUE! I think eaton’s or something in canada trademarked a purplish color for their grand reopening or somesuch event. @Gunface01: Depends, how can YOU trademark a random collection of 9 letters from out of a possible however-many-big set? You’re doing the same thing with even your name. It all depends on how specific you wanna be. Microsoft, for example, couldn’t use “Windows” as a trademark, it was too generic, yet I believe that “Gunface01” would probably stand fast as a trademark. If I specify, down to the highest precision that I can possibly achieve, and its creation is repeatable… Read more »


    Well I guess I can’t talk to any of my African-American without paying a fee lol


    Whoops! African American FRIENDS


    of which i have LOTS!


    Cadbury had a trademark on purple in Australia and sued Darrel Lea, an Australian chocolate company that also uses a very similar shade of purple for an infringement of trademark. Cadbury lost.


    Coca-Cola has their RED trademarked as well.