Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., 514 U.S. 159, 2 (1995)

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Opinion of the Court

the limited supply of colors that will soon be depleted by competitors; (3) is contradicted by many older cases, including decisions of this Court interpreting pre-Lanham Act trademark law; and (4) is unnecessary because firms already may use color as part of a trademark and may rely on "trade dress" protection—are unpersuasive. Pp. 166-174. 13 F. 3d 1297, reversed.

Breyer, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Donald G. Mulack argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Christopher A. Bloom, Edward J. Chalfie, Heather C. Steinmeyer, and Ava B. Campagna.

Deputy Solicitor General Wallace argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Days, Assistant Attorneys General Hunger and Bingaman, Diane P. Wood, James A. Feldman, William Kanter, Marc Richman, Nancy J. Linck, Albin F. Drost, Nancy C. Slutter, and Linda Moncys Isacson.

Laurence D. Strick argued the cause and filed a brief for respondent.*

Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court. The question in this case is whether the Trademark Act of 1946 (Lanham Act), 15 U. S. C. 1051-1127 (1988 ed. and Supp. V), permits the registration of a trademark that con-*Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the Bar Association of the District of Columbia by Bruce T. Wieder, Sheldon H. Klein, and Linda S. Paine-Powell; for B. F. Goodrich Co. by Lawrence S. Robbins and Mary Ann Tucker; for the Crosby Group, Inc., by Robert D. Yeager; for Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Corp. by David C. Gryce; for the Hand Tools Institute et al. by James E. Siegel, Witold A. Ziarno, and Rosemarie Biondi-Tofano; for Intellectual Property Owners by George R. Powers, Neil A. Smith, and Herbert C. Wamsley; for the International Trademark Association by Christopher C. Larkin, Joan L. Dillon, and Morton David Goldberg; and for Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. by Michael W. Schwartz and Marc Wolinsky.

Arthur M. Handler filed a brief for the Private Label Manufacturers Association as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

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