TTABlog: “TTAB Finds the Color Purple to be Functional for Sandpaper”:
“Opposer Saint-Gobain claimed functionality because “purple is a by-product of the manufacturing process, and purple is used in color-coding.” . . . The Board, however, found that “with respect to competitive need … opposer has set out a prima facie case that coated abrasive manufacturers have to be able to use various shades of purple, including applicant’s.”
. . .
As to color coding, the Board was not convinced that third parties would necessarily have to use purple, but it did find that “[i]n the field of coated abrasives, color serves a myriad of functions, including color coding, and the need to color code lends support for the basic finding that color, including purple, is functional in the field of coated abrasives having paper or cloth backing.”
The Board further observed that “[a] deep purple color would be one of a small number of dark colors that would help manufacturers dye their products to avoid streaking or other imperfections.”