Trademarks and Colors Continued: Cadbury Wins the Purple Battle

by T+B Blog Team on November 22, 2011

A UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ruling gave Cadbury a win in a 3-year trademark battle with Nestlé S. A. over rights to the shade of purple that Cadbury uses on its wrappers. A Cadbury spokesperson said the company’s use of the color purple is “vital” to the brand in the competitive impulse purchase market.

Cadbury (now part of Kraft Foods Inc.) filed a trademark application in 2008 for the shade of purple (Pantone 2865c) that it has used since 1914. Nestlé, which uses a similar purple color on its Quality Street candy assortment, challenged the registration over the lack of “distinctive character.”

Under this preliminary IPO ruling, Cadbury can register the trademark for the packaging color on its chocolate in bar and tablet form, as well as for eating and drinking chocolates. And Nestlé can continue to use its purple color on its Quality Street candies, since the Cadbury trademark does not include chocolate cakes, confectionery, or chocolate assortments.

We last wrote about colors and trademarks regarding the ongoing fight over red-soled shoes between Christian Louboutin and Yves St. Laurent. What trademark stories related to colors are you following?

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