Cheerios’ Failed Case for Yellow Shows Why It’s So Hard for Brands to Trademark Colors

General Mills' defeat illustrates one of branding's trickiest tasks

It turns out a lot of cereal brands use yellow on their boxes. Cheerios

It’s bad enough for General Mills that Americans have been losing interest in breakfast cereal for the past decade or more, but the brand got more bad news last week when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejected its application to trademark the use of yellow on Cheerios boxes.

@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.