An many might know, Pantone is an American company that deals mainly with technologies for graphics, color cataloging and color identification systems.
In August 2017 Pantone deposited a new color called Purple One, “Love Symbol # 2” in homage to the late Prince Rogers Nelson known to most as simply "Prince" who died in 2016 at only 59 years.
Pantone's marketing operation followed the recent restored edition of the film Purple Rain, whose soundtrack was actually composed by Prince in 1984.
After these recent events, Paisley Park Enterprises the company that holds the of the late Prince, has filed with the USPTO (the US patent and trademark office) a color mark consisting of a particular shade of purple.
Perhaps not everyone knows that among the signs that can be registered as a trademark, the Industrial Property Code also includes combinations or shades of color, if these are suitable for distinguishing the products or services between competitors.
Today, colors and color combinations are, by now, increasingly used by companies to identify their products in the market; it is no coincidence that we often refer to the "blue" Tiffany or the bright "red" of the soles of the Louboutin shoes.
Italian and Eu Courts tend to exclude the registration of pure colors or shades of colors; the principle was already affirmed in 2003, by the Court of Justice of the European Union, in the "Libertel" case concerning the use of the orange color for telecommunications services.
More recently, the Court of Milan has stipulated that the registration of a specific color mark may be allowed only if it does not unduly restrict the availability of colors for the other parties that offer products or services of the same type as those applied for in the registration application.
As for Prince's filing, this will be examined by the USPTO and then published in the bulletin, thus giving the opportunity to other parties who believe that the trademark registration will be damaged by the opportunity to oppose it.