Bell Seeks Trademark for Signature ‘Bell Blue’ Colour

Bell Canada has applied to trademark the medium-dark shade of cyan-blue colour commonly recognized from its logo and promotional materials as “Bell Blue”.

The telecom giant aims to secure exclusive rights for a decade to use this colour in a myriad of goods and services including phones, TVs, software, and ad campaigns, reports The Canadian Press.

The application follows the 2019 amendment to Canada’s Trademarks Act allowing the registration of single colours, previously limited to colours associated with the surface of a specific object.

However, to register a colour, companies must prove its “distinctiveness”—that it would prompt the average consumer to distinguish the company’s goods and services from others in the marketplace, according to trademark lawyer Graham Hood.

According to the trademark filing it was made on July 10, 2023. The status is “awaiting examination”.

This process of proving distinctiveness can be expensive and challenging, requiring evidence such as sales figures and advertising expenses associated with the colour. It might take years and millions of dollars to establish colour as distinctive, Hood pointed out.

Furthermore, due to current delays at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, the wait time from filing an application to examination exceeds four years.

“Bell’s distinctive blue is already registered in association with the Bell logo, and with the recent amendments to the Trademarks Act allowing for colours to be registered, we’re seeking trademark protection for our distinctive blue per se, similar to how Interac, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Mastercard are seeking protection for their recognizable brand colours,” said Bell spokeswoman Jessica Benzinger, in a statement.

Essentially, by taking control over this particular colour of blue, Bell wants to ensure no other telco will try to use that colour for their brand. What do you think about Bell wanting to take over the colour blue? Some might be still feeling blue after seeing just a handful of major cellphone and internet companies in Canada.

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