Cadbury Registers British Trademark For Shade of Purple

By Joseph Mandour on November 22, 2012

candy-easter-cadbury-thumb-200x150-30619 California – The British Intellectual Property Office (IPO) recently granted trademark registration to English chocolatier Cadbury for Cadbury’s distinctive shade of purple used on chocolate packaging. Issuing the registration ended three years of litigation between Cadbury and Swiss competitor Nestle who opposed the trademark’s registration.

Cadbury has apparently been using the shade of purple, Pantone 2865c, for over 100 years as the primary color on its chocolate bar wrappers. Cadbury began the process to register the purple shade as a trademark in 1995. Cadbury was eventually granted a registered trademark in 2008.

However, the registration was immediately challenged by the world’s largest food company, Swiss based Nestle. Nestle claimed that the shade of purple alone was not sufficiently distinctive to qualify for trademark registration and should be available for use by others in the chocolate industry. Cadbury, on the other hand, argued that customers associated the purple shade with Cadbury products and that the color serves to distinguish Cadbury products from other chocolate bars for children too young to read.

After a three year battle with Nestle, the British IPO ruled that Cadbury’s shade of purple, Pantone 2865c was sufficiently distinctive to qualify for trademark registration. Cadbury may use its distinctive shade of purple exclusively on chocolate bars, chocolate tablets, and eating and drinking chocolate. The trademark protection does not extend beyond chocolate to other products.

Cadbury is based in Northwest London, United Kingdom and markets a variety of premium chocolate products. Cadbury is now owned by American company Kraft Foods after a 2009 takeover. Nestle operates in 86 countries and manufactures a variety of food products including cereal, yogurt, coffee, bottled water, and candy. Chocolate products by Nestle include the Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, and Wonka candy brands.

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