Red Bull Cuts Your Wings: The Discussion on Packaging and Colour Combinations

Recently, before the Delhi High Court, Red Bull (the Plaintiff) found themselves defending the unique colour combination they used on their products’ packaging. The plaintiff claimed that the Defendants were infringing on the colour combination by selling identical goods with identical packaging (bearing the mark SEVENHOURS). In contrast, the Defendants contested that there can be no monopoly over the usage of any colour.

The plaintiff being the proprietor of the internationally acclaimed marks RED BULL, BULL, double BULL device, single BULL, and,  claimed that the blue-silver colour in this layout was associated distinctly with the Plaintiff’s products. The plaintiff relied on the orders passed by this Hon’ble Court against third parties since 2016 to submit that the Court had granted their colour combination protection.

Court Findings:

The marks of Plaintiff and Defendant are as shown below:


The Court stated that the use of identical packaging for identical products, particularly when the Plaintiff’s packaging has been granted statutory protection, amounted to infringement of their trade dress. The Court granted an injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, citing that the packaging was likely to confuse due to imperfect recollection among the consumers.

The Court restrained the Defendants and those selling under them from using the colour combination but allowed them to use the mark provided that the packaging was not similar to the Plaintiff’s, vide order dated August 1, 2023.

The Court directed the Defendant to dispose of their goods by January 31, 2024 and directed that they withdraw the applications filed for the infringing marks. The Defendant was allowed to use the mark SEVEN HOURS on the condition that the packaging must not be similar to that of the Plaintiff.

This judgment highlights the importance of the overall appearance of the marks and also guides proprietors on the rights granted to them in the event that the colour combination used by them has acquired distinctiveness.

Author – Manisha Singh & Tushitta Murali

Link: Red Bull Cuts Your Wings: The Discussion on Packaging and Colour Combinations – Lexology