V Energy Drink, Coca-Cola In Angry Legal Stoush Over Colour Green

V Energy Drink, Coca-Cola In Angry Legal Stoush Over Colour Green

It’s not every day you see drink companies fighting over the ownership of a very specific colour green, but today this is not just a mere disagreement, but a full blown legal battle. Frucor Beverages, the makers of V energy drink, is fighting back against Coca-Cola Company, who blocked its attempt to register the shade Pantone 376C.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

Frucor Beverages’ applied to IP Australia in 2012 to stop other companies using this shade of green on other energy drinks, after doing a survey that showed 48 per cent of respondents associated V with the colour.

But per a Fairfax story, Coca-Cola objected to the grounds that Pantone 376C was undeniably linked to the V energy drink, because other soft drinks already used similar colours, including its own variety of Mother energy drink, ‘Green Storm’.

But the kicker? In Frucor Beverages’ initial bid to register the colour, it mistakenly attached the wrong shade of green to the trademark application. Brutal.

As a result, delegate of the Registrar of Trade Marks Michael Kirov said they were in agreeance with Coca-Cola and rejected the application, adding, “I think the colour green would simply be perceived as part, albeit an important part, of the applicant’s corporate get-up”.

Now Frucor is taking Coca-Cola to Federal Court in a bid to overturn the decision, filing an appeal on July 11. The matter is set to be heard on August 8, with neither companies commenting on the issue while it is before the court.

Colour wars apparently aren’t all that uncommon between companies either, with British Petroleum losing a mammoth 12-year battle to trademark green Pantone 348C after being blocked by Woolworths, and Cadbury claiming the trademark over its distinctive purple colour against rival Darrell Lea.