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Brief Published: 21 Nov 2011

Cadbury Wins Legal Battle for Purple


British confectionery giant Cadbury has won a legal dispute surrounding the characteristic purple colour used on its packaging.

Beginning in 2008, when competitor Nestlé disputed Cadbury’s application to trademark the colour, which it has used since 1914, it was recently ruled by the UK Intellectual Property Office that the particular shade of purple – Pantone 2865c – was distinctive enough to the brand to warrant a trademark. The office awarded the company exclusive rights to the hue’s use in chocolate bar and chocolate drinks packaging. However, competing companies may still use the colour to brand chocolate cakes, assortments and advertising.

The case is similar to the recent unsettled dispute between fashion brands Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent, in which Louboutin is hoping to sue the competitor for using similar red soles in its footwear lines.