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Cadbury secure colour trademark

Written by Rehana Ali on 10 October 2012

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Cadbury win court battle for trademark of the colour purple

Cadburys have recently won a court battle that has given them the right to register the distinctive purple colour they use for their milk chocolate as a trademark. Cadbury first applied to register the colour (pantone 2685c) in 2004 but faced a number of difficulties in securing the trademark.

Nestle another major player in the confectionary market appealed to the High Court arguing that the colour trademark should not be registered as it was not a sign capable of being represented graphically and a colour should not be trademarked in order to give a commercial advantage, however Nestles appeal was rejected.

In a previous colour trademark case (Libertel (C-104/01) the court commented that single colours will only in exceptional circumstances be capable of denoting the origin of a product, as customers do not generally make an assumption as to the origin of the goods based on their colour or their packaging.

High Court Judge, Colin Briss stated in support of Cadbury, that the evidence provided by Cadbury suggested that the shade of purple used by Cadbury was indeed distinctive for their milk chocolate and the public associated the purple colour with the Cadbury milk chocolate. Cadbury had also used the shade of purple for their milk chocolate bars since 1914.

Cadbury now have the purple shade trademark for the following:

  • Milk chocolate in bar and tablet form.
  • Drinking Milk chocolate. 
  • Preparations for making drinking milk chocolate.
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