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Donkin's World: It's Not Easy, Being Green

Richard Donkin goes green,

Donkin life has just gone green. There's a reason for this. Partly I wanted to mess around with the customisation options at Blogger.com. But I also wanted to use Donkingreen somewhere on my website. Yes that's right, Donkingreen. Not pea green or Lincoln Green or British Racing Green, but Donkin Green. It's mine. I own it, paid 5 for it to UNICEF here so it's money well spent. http://www.ownacolour.com/ It even has its own code: #1a4604 and that's the colour on the masthead. http://www.ownacolour.com/#1a4604

But you can't own a colour, you may say. Perhaps not, and my ownership is unlikely to be tested since you have my full permission to use Donkingreen anytime you like. I won't even be miffed if you don't call it Donkingreen and give it some other name.

What right has UNICEF to sell colours to anyone, you may ask? Probably none at all. Colours don't have rights. But I'm sure that if they did, they'd be prepared to wave them all in a good cause. Strictly, UNICEF is selling shades rather than colours since you'd be hard put to distinguish Donkin green from many other shades of olive green, or should that be many other shades of Donkin Green? Maybe I have set my sites too narrowly. Why settle for Donkin green when there's a whole world of green out there. But I'm not greedy. I'm very happy with Donkin green and if you happen to be green with envy, go get your own colour, there must be millions left in the 16.7m shades identified in the sale.

Of course some people, or rather some companies, can become quite covetous of their colours. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/aug/16/marketingandpr.newmedia The Financial Times tried to claim copyright on its FT pink a few years back until a judge quite rightly rejected the claim. Then easyJet and Orange, the mobile phone company got worked up about the colour Orange. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3555398.stm

Now Christian Louboutin has been seeing red after one of its rival brands, Yves St Laurent had the audacity to produce a red soled shoe. Christian Louboutin thinks any other women's shoe manufacturer producing red-soled shoes is ripping off an exclusive design. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2024553/Christian-Louboutin-denied-injunction-court-battle-rival-brands-right-use-red-sole.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

And Tiffany agrees, sticking its oar in to the case in order to bolster its own claim for Tiffany green.

Good grief. What has the world come to when a shoe company sues over the bit that scrapes the pavement? If Christian Louboutin was to give the money it is spending on legal fees to UNICEF it could just about corner the market on red.


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