Cadbury loses legal fight over rights to Pantone 2685c purple

Cadbury has been defeated in a legal battle in which it attempted to secure exclusive rights to Pantone 2685c purple – as used in Dairy Milk packaging.

Cadbury Dairy Milk packaging, featuring 2685c purple
Cadbury Dairy Milk packaging, featuring 2685c purple

The brand, which has used the purple for more than 90 years, last year won a High Court battle against rival chocolate brand Nestlé, giving it exclusive rights to use the colour for chocolate bar and drink packaging.

Nestlé, however, appealed against this ruling and has now won a case at the Court of Appeal, which means that Cadbury is unable to register exclusive trademark rights to the colour.

Cadbury, however, says it still has rights to protect its colour purple against other companies seeking to pass their products off as Cadbury. It may also appeal against the latest decision.

A Cadbury spokesman says, ‘We are disappointed by this latest decision, but it’s important to point out that it does not affect our long-held right to protect our distinctive colour purple from others seeking to pass off their products as Cadbury chocolate.

‘Our colour purple has been linked with Cadbury for a century and the British public has grown up understanding its link with our chocolate. We are studying this particular ruling and will consider our next steps which includes the possibility of an appeal.’

A spokesman for Nestlé says, ‘We welcome the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold Nestlé’s objection against Mondelez’s proposal to trade mark its Dairy Milk “Purple” colour across a broad range of products. We believe this was the right outcome from a legal perspective.’

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  • Rajinder Bahal November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Next they will want exclusive rights to the colour “chocolate”

  • Doug Steadman November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think it is pretty pathetic that Nestlé are doing this. Are they that desperate to copy Cadburys packaging

  • Barney Bryant November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I know it was in their own interest but I’m glad Nestlé stepped in, could have meant we had to start crossing out pantone colours in our swatch books one by one!

    Funnily enough I had an idea based on this subject back at college:

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