Is the colour purple on GlaxoSmithKline`s inhalers a trademark?

The biopharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has in Norway, as well as in several other jurisdictions, taken legal steps to stop another supplier from selling an asthma product with a partly purple packaging claiming that the packaging infringes GSK’s trademark rights to the colour purple on inhalers.

Both the Norwegian District Court and Court of Appeals have ruled on the GSK`s purple inhaler stating that the purple colour combination cannot be regarded as a trademark under Norwegian law. The case now stands before the Supreme Court which have scheduled for oral proceedings 28 November 2017.