Nestle has triumphed in a legal battle to prevent Cadbury from trademarking the shade of purple used in its Dairy Milk bars since the early 20th century.

This reverses a ruling last year, when Cadbury won the court case to stop the Pantone 2865c being used by rival chocolate firms.

Patent firm Withers & Rogers had cautioned at the time about the notorious difficulty of colour trade mark registrations. The UK Court has now said that: ‘Cadbury’s formulation does not comply with the requirements for registration’.

Criteria for trademarking

The Court of Appeal found that the trademark application lacked ‘the required clarity, precision, self-containment, durability and objectivity to qualify for registration’.

A Cadbury spokesman commented: ‘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.’

Nestle said it welcomed the court decision, which it believed ‘was the right outcome from a legal perspective’.

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