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The colour purple - the development of colours as trade mark

23 November 2011

The UK’s Trade Mark registry has ruled that chocolate manufacturers Cadbury can continue to trade mark  a particular shade of purple used on its packaging, following a challenge by rival brand Nestle on the basis that Cadbury’s use of the purple colour was not distinctive enough to warrant protection.

Cadbury are likely to claim as a victory the ruling that they have built up enough distinctive character in their purple shade through their use of it on chocolate in bar and tablet form and eating and drinking chocolate products.

However, it is worth noting that the registry agreed with Nestle that this distinctive association did not extend to their chocolate cakes, chocolate assortments, and some confectionery chocolate, and therefore Cadbury’s attempt to register trade marks in these areas was refused. Nevertheless, many will regard this as a victory for Cadbury in its long-running battle with Nestle.

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