June 2017. German energy giant Enercon has failed to register the striking bands of green on its wind turbine towers as a trademark after the European Court of Justice rejected its application on 3 May.


The court ruled that the colour bands on the lower section of Enercon’s wind turbine towers, which consist of five different shades of green, were not sufficiently distinctive.

Green = eco-friendly

The green colours simply refer to an eco-friendly product, the court said. And in this particular case, they also served a purely aesthetic function in reducing the contrast between the turbine towers and the (green) pastureland in which they were situated.

Different type of registration?

The case once more shows that it’s almost impossible to register colours and colour combinations as trademarks. Enercon might have had more success if it had applied to register the colours as a logo rather than as a pure trademark. It could then have included the tower’s elongated trapeze form in the application rather than just the colours themselves.

Left picture wind turbine via www.windvogel.nl / Right picture wind turbine via Wikipedia.