Colour Purple. Cadbury loses appeal

Cadbury today lost a five-year court battle to register the colour purple as a trade mark for its chocolate bars. Nestle was successful in overturning a previous decision made by the High court concerning a specific shade of purple’Pantone 2685C’.

Well the Supreme Court allowed the appeal stating (Sir John Mummer):

“The mark applied for thus lacks the required clarity, precision, self-containment, durability and objectivity to qualify for registration.To allow a registration so lacking in specificity, clarity and precision of visual appearance would offend against the principle of certainty. It would also offend against the principle of fairness by giving a competitive advantage to Cadbury and by putting Nestlé and its other competitors at a disadvantage……… the registration of a trademark creates a form of intellectual property conferring a potentially perpetual monopoly in the mark and excluding everybody else from use in various ways, the point of principle has some public importance.”

The more unusual trade marks ie colours, sounds and smells, are not that easy to obtain as this case cleary shows.

Michael Coyle

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