Update: The Cadbury Purple Trademark

by T+B Blog Team on October 4, 2012

Last November, a UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ruling gave Cadbury a win in its long trademark fight with Nestlé S. A. over rights to the shade of purple that Cadbury uses on its candy wrappers. Nestlé then challenged the ruling, filing an appeal and claiming that a color cannot be given trademark protection.

Now a UK judge has rejected the Nestlé appeal, ruling in Cadbury’s favor. According to the judge’s ruling: “The evidence clearly supports a finding that purple is distinctive of Cadbury for milk chocolate.” He noted, however, that the trademark would not apply to boxes of chocolates since “[I]n my judgment it would not be right to say that the color purple is distinctive of chocolate generally.”

The Cadbury trademark filing goes back to 2008 when the company filed an application for the shade of purple (which happens to be Pantone 2865c) that it has used since 1914. Nestlé uses a similar purple color on its Quality Street candy assortment.

Let’s see, we’ve now covered trademark stories about the colors red, pink, brown, and a certain shade of blue often seen on jewelry boxes. What brand do you most closely associate with a specific color?

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