The Boise State Broncos famously have a blue artificial turf football field at Albertsons Stadium. In yesterday’s New York Times Sports section, the ramifications of their claim to trademark protection related to that feature were well explored.

Registered trademark and the Washington Redskins
Copyright: silvia / 123RF Stock Photo

One of their administrators patrols violation of their registration. Believe it or not, Boise State claims empire over non-green fields (!) which raises some interesting questions, since they are not using any color other than blue. The courts have held that color may be trademarked if associated with a given product used, most recently in the dispute over Louboutin’s red-soled shoes. Sagely, Boise State has granted licenses to other schools using colors other than green, provided that they are not major college teams. Growing up in the dry cleaning business, I would see the Martinizing covers on clothes presses, which were a unique green color. Most cleaners would recognize that color and it was granted protection. Moral of the story may be, register your mark and do not overreach in moving to protect it.