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Cadbury’s Purple Reign

12 November 2012

Cadbury’s has successfully defended a challenge to its trade mark registration for a specific shade of purple registered for milk chocolate in bar or tablet form, eating and drinking chocolate.

Cadbury’s rival Nestle opposed the registration, arguing that the colour was not a sign capable of being represented graphically.

The Trade Mark registry previously upheld Cadbury’s registration and in October this year, on appeal from Nestle, Judge Birss QC agreed that the colour was capable of being represented graphically and had acquired distinctiveness for chocolate.

Although there has recently been controversy in the press as a Church of England chocolate confectioner called a legal row over its use of the colour purple “demeaning”, the decision is ultimately the right one. It is well established that a colour is capable of graphical representation by reference to its Pantone designation and Cadbury submitted sufficient evidence to show that “Cadbury purple” had acquired distinctiveness since its use by Cadbury in 1914, and therefore met the requirements for registration.

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