A German appeals court ordered a retrial yesterday, in a battle between two global skin-care brands, Dove and Nivea, over who owns a shade of dark blue featured on packaging. The verdict gives Beiersdorf AG, the German company that makes Nivea cream and cleansers, a fresh chance to argue that its registration of the color as a trademark is legally binding. Unilever, the British-Dutch maker of Dove soaps, shampoos and other products, had demanded the cancellation of the trademark, and won the first round in a federal patent court in 2013. The federal high court in Karlsruhe, southern Germany referred the case back to patent judges for a rehearing, saying they had set the standard too high when they ruled the 2007 registration for Germany invalid. The blue in the case is a specific shade, Pantone 280 C, defined by a proprietary standard for the colors of inks set by Pantone Inc. Colors are believed to subtly convey emotions that can persuade shoppers to commit to a product. Hamburg-based Nivea has had blue on its cream bottles for many years and Dove also uses blue prominently on its packaging in Germany.