Mærsk are granted a trademark on their light blue colour

For only the second time in the history of Denmark, a business has got the exclusive right to colour
The Patent and Trademark Office has signed on that a light blue colour belongs to Maersk.

Maersk are now the proud owners of the Danish trademark registration for the colour 'Pantone Maersk Blue' in class 39 for "sea freight transport"

In over 30 pages, Maersk documented that the colour had been used since 1886, and they also added a market survey which showed that 88% of the relevant public in Denmark - without assistance or prompting - associates the colour in question with Maersk.

- We often hear stories that Danes feel at home when they see a container with Maersk's white star on a light blue background abroad. Although A.P. Møller - Maersk is big in the Danish consciousness, we are hardly that big from an international perspective. Therefore, it is important to register our own colour. Now we are better equipped in any litigation, where other companies in the same industry are trying to exploit our colour, as we have proven that our customers connect with Maersk, says Henning Morgen, a historian at Maersk explains to DR.

Maersk's colour trademark (VR 2018 02458)

Back in the day of black ship chimneys, captain Peter Maersk Møller bought the steamship Laura in 1886, and bucked the trend with a chimney that had been painted light blue. 

- History plays a crucial role. If one had decided to colour the chimney black, which was the most normal then, and only recently chose to introduce the light blue colour, A.P. Møller - Mærsk would hardly get his application approved, says Hannah Holm Olsen from the Patent and Trademark Office to DR.

The only other company in Denmark that has had a colour trademark approved is Grundfos, back in 2011. In their case, a whopping 96 percent of people identified the red colour with Grundfos pumps.

Grundfos and Maersk now join in an exclusive club of companies that have the sole right to a colour on the European level.

In addition to the two Danish companies, the transport company UPS owns their brown colour, Victorinox has a red colour that is found on their Swiss knives, and 3M have the yellow colour for their post-it notes approved as trademarks by the European Trade Mark Authority (OHIM).

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