Cadbury loses legal battle with Nestle over colour purple

Children on the National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Trail. Picture: Stuart Cox
Children on the National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Trail. Picture: Stuart Cox
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CONFECTIONERY giant Cadbury has admitted defeat in its long-running battle with Nestle over a trademark for a shade of purple in its chocolate wrapping.

The Supreme Court has refused the company permission to appeal a decision by the Court of Appeal in October which blocked Cadbury’s attempt to trademark the distinctive shade of purple - Pantone 2685c - used in its wrappings since the early 20th century.

Cadbury first applied for the trademark in 2004 which was initially allowed but could not be registered after Nestle began a legal challenge in 2008.

A spokesman for Mondelez, which owns Cadbury, said: “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.”

Cadbury had initially beaten off a challenge from Nestlé in the High Court but appeal judges then ruled the claim lacked “specificity” and did not comply with “requirements for registration”.

The ruling also said: “It would also offend against the principle of fairness by giving a competitive advantage to Cadbury.”

A spokesman for Nestle, which has factories in York and Halifax, said: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s final decision to refuse Mondelez’s request for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal decision of October 2013. We believe the Court of Appeal decision was the right outcome from a legal perspective”