Cadbury retains Purple
Cadbury’s application for a trademark of a shade of purple i.e. Pantone 2685C for its chocolates, that has been in dispute for over 8 years, finally ploughed through all hurdles with a UK High Court ruling in its favour.
While Cadbury had applied for this trademark way back in 2004, one of its competitors Nestle, opposed the registration of the mark on grounds of lack of distinctiveness.
While the Intellectual Property Office had ruled partly in Nestle’s favor by allowing Cadbury to only register its use of the shade of purple as a trademark for its chocolate bars and drinking chocolate, Nestle’s appeal against the same was turned down by the UK High Court.
One of Nestle’s subsidiaries, Wonka used a similar shade of purple for its products, but now Cadbury exclusively holds the trademark for the specific shade of purple for its chocolates. Though the degree and shade of purple is very specific, competitors would have to tread carefully before using a shade of purple that could be considered as deceptively similar to the trademark of Cadbury.
It is still to be kept in mind, however, that applying for a colour as a trademark is restricted to specific sectors and while the High Court held that the colour purple was distinctive to Cadbury chocolates since 1914, the same could be used only in relation to Chocolate bars and drinking chocolate manufactured by Cadbury. Thus, manufacture of other products with the same shade of purple is still legal.
Contributed by: Shravan Kalluri & Sripriya Padmanabhan