“I’m totally unsure of the legalities. I did speak with a lawyer who said it’s a very bad idea. However, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s morally right, so it’s a risk I’m willing to take.”
💬 Stuart Semple in Fast Company on his “liberation” of Tiffany & Co’s classic shade of blue. Translation: he’s managed to copy Tiffany Blue in paint form and he’s selling it on his website under the name Tiff Blue.
Before you get too excited, three things to know:
1️⃣ It’s currently out of stock, though (as of this writing) you can pre-order it to ship on October 1st.
2️⃣ It’s $28 for a 150mL bottle, which translates to roughly $700 per gallon (when $50 per gallon is a comfortable budget for high-quality interior paint). So it would cost well over a grand to paint an average-sized room in Tiff Blue.
3️⃣ Semple is poking a big corporate bear here (because that’s half of the point) and, as a consequence, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to sell this color of paint indefinitely should Tiffany apply pressure.
As the article in Fast Company explains, Semple might be safe according to the fine print of trademark law, because you can only trademark a color in connection to certain things. You can’t trademark a color by itself.
So Tiffany Blue, like UPS’s brown or T-Mobile’s magenta, is protected by trademark—but only in the context of jewelry, where someone else using the same blue could wrongly confuse consumers into thinking they’re buying Tiffany products when they’re not.
Tiffany could still sue Semple here, but (win or lose) it’d be mostly to deter other would-be bandits and keep the iconic brand from going stale.
By the way: Tiffany Blue’s hex code is #0abab5 according to Canva.