Companies such as these that have built their brand around a color and received broad consumer identification with that color can seek trade dress registration for that color as a crucial part of their brand. Referred to as a ‘color mark registration,’ it gives companies specific rights to the use of their colors in an industry.
In June 2009, after a three year legal campaign, Phillips Foods Inc. was awarded the exclusive right to package and sell crab meat in a black can.
Known by consumers and chefs as the “black can crab meat,” Phillips crab meat has been packaged in a black can since 1990. With Phillips being the No.1 selling crab meat in the country, other crab-meat companies began to mimic the color and style of Phillips packaging.
SOURCE: Phillips Foods