Cadbury has lost a four-year legal battle over the rights of its famous Cadbury’s Purple wrapper colour after rival Nestlé challenged the trademark.
A Court of Appeal decision overturned a previous ruling which said the chocolatier could trademark the colour, which it has used for its chocolate bars since 1905. The case leads the way for rivals to start using the colour for their own chocolates after a judge said the trademark application lacked clarity.
Nestlé welcomed the judgement but said it has no plans to add to its roster of chocolates, including Kit Kats, Lion bars and Smarties, with the purple used by its rival. A spokesman said: “We welcome the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold Nestlé’s objection against Cadbury’s proposal to trademark its Dairy Milk ‘Purple’ colour across a broad range of products.”
Cadbury successfully trademarked the colour, known as Pantone 2685C, in 2004 to use on its chocolate bars and drinking chocolate. Nestlé appealed this in 2008.
Cadbury said it would be considering whether it can appeal yesterday’s judgment
A spokesman said: “We are disappointed by this latest decision but it’s important to point out that it does not affect our long-held right to protect our distinctive colour purple from others seeking to pass off their products as Cadbury chocolate.”
Earlier this year luxury shoemaker Christian Louboutin took YSL to court over a red high-heel shoe that had a red sole, synonymous with its own shoes.
A judge ruled YSL, and others, could not sell shoes with red soles unless the shoe itself was red. Harrods unsuccessfully fought to patent olive green and gold, while easyGroup agreed with Orange to put a disclaimer on its orange mobile publicity.