Image courtesy Pantone Color Institute

Prince’s Estate Seeks to Trademark Pantone Color

CHANHASSEN, Minn.—Paisley Park Enterprises and the estate of late rock icon Prince seek to legally claim Love Symbol #2, a hue created in collaboration with Pantone. The color-matching system company released the purple shade late last summer in conjunction with the estate as a tribute to the musician. 

To set the process in motion, fashion legal and business news site The Fashion Law reports that the estate has filed an application with the U.S. Trademark Office for “the color purple” for use on musical sound and video recordings, as well as movies featuring music and musical entertainment. The report also alludes to the possibility of a full-on museum dedicated to the late musician as the trademark also references “operating a museum and providing guided tours of the museum.” 

Prince at Coachella
Prince performing live in 2008. (Image courtesy Wikipedia/Penner)




The trend of brands and companies trademarking colors follows a complicated history fraught with legal litigation. While trademarking allows an entity to use a hue, it doesn’t technically constitute ownership of the color. Previous high-profile registered color combinations include things like retail giant Target’s red-colored font logo and Home Depot’s orange on the background of its advertising, lettering, or “other signage.” 

Pantone’s Prince-inspired hue also preceded the institute’s purplish 2018 color of the year. In December 2017, the company unveiled Ultra Violet, a blue-based purplish shade it touted as signifying “counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance,” namechecking Prince again as well as Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie.