Frucor Beverages & Coke battle over a shade of green

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th August 2016
Law

The company which owns V energy drinks is fighting Coca-Cola over the colour green, and are taking the case to the Australian Federal Court.

V energy drinks are produced by Frucor Beverages and have sought to trademark a particular shade of green (Pantone 376C) used in its packaging and advertising. However, The Coca Cola Company managed to stop the acceptance of the trademark in a first hearing of the matter at the Australian Trademark Office, arguing that no one company should own a colour.

In a hearing in front of the delegate from the registrar of trademarks, Coca-Cola argued that at least 30 per cent of V energy drinks did not predominately contain the shade of green for which Frucor was seeking a trademark protection. However, Frucor said that a survey showed 48 per cent of people associated V energy drinks with the colour.

The delegate from the Registrar of Trade Marks found against Frucor saying that the colour was merely part of the brand’s “corporate get-up”, even though it could be perceived as important.

Frucor is now fighting the trademark ruling in the Australian Federal Court and will heard today.

Both Frucor and Coca-Cola are not commenting on the matter whilst it is a matter before the courts.