0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

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.

Related opinions

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up