Your Honor: Barbie

Jul 28, 2023 | Allen A. Ritchie | 0 comments

Allen's Answers - Does Mattel Own The Color Pink?

I am sure Barbie has been a judge, a lawyer, and even a personal injury lawyer. If you have seen that pink convertible at a rear-end collision and she is passing out business cards, you can be sure of it.

Don’t say I am not trendy nor able to grab onto the tiniest bit of influencer hype.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you pink law.

This fact might shock you, but Mattel does not own the color pink. Nor any shade named Barbie-pink. However, according to trademark lawyers I know (I am not one), trademark rights can be gained by consistently using something, even if not registered with the U.S. government. Barbie is nothing if not consistently pink.

And the toy company has fought to protect its exclusive use of the magenta and pink color, known as Pantone 219C.

Let me give you an example of legal trouble. A potato chip manufacturer made a product called Barbie-Que Honey Truffle. It used the pink color in the packaging. The case was settled within a month. Barbie-Que Chips? If you find any, let me know. My law partner could not resist these.

Do you remember the 1997 song “Barbie Girl”? Do you remember 1997? Well, Mattel went after the record company — not so much for using the name Barbie — but for using pink to promote the song. After a long fight, it was one of the few times Mattel lost. The judge said it was a parody and, therefore, exempted from trademark restrictions.

Barbie pink is known as one of the most defended colors ever. And just in case you are thinking of dipping into your paint box, let me add that UPS’s Pullman brown and Tiffany’s eggshell blue are not far behind.

Artist Barbie needs to watch her palate.

If you suffer from any personal injury accident – car, boat, on-the-job, slip and fall, nursing home abuse, etc. – you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie (251) 666-1212 for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Plus, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We’ll have some legal information you can use. Plus, we specifically set aside a few hours on Monday morning to answer any questions you may have in real-time. Just call our office.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer