Beiersdorf must fear for the future of its Nivea blue

Unilever has requested that the distinctive Nivea blue is no longer protected as a colour trademark. Beiersdorf must now prove that customers perceive Nivea blue as a distinct colour inherent to the brand. Grünecker Attorney Dr. Nicolás Schmitz stated to “Welt” that the undertaking of protecting the colour is “a tour de force of trademark law” - difficult, but not impossible. There is however a rationale behind requesting the withdrawal of the colour trademark: “A claimant such as Unilever wants to have legal certainty” explains Schmitz. Unilever may otherwise be faced with the prospect of removing products from the market because their packaging features the protected colour.