Cadbury’s Chocolate Trademarks the Color Purple

A chocolate in any other color wouldn't taste as sweet, the British confectioner says.

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A chocolate in any other color wouldn’t taste as sweet, the British confectioner says.

The chocolatier, which started swathing its chocolate bars in royal purple wrappers over 100 years ago to honor Queen Victoria, has fought off a challenge from rival Nestlé, which claimed Cadbury should never have been able to trademark the color back in 2008.

The registrar at the UK Intellectual Property Office disagreed, saying the particular shade of purple – pantone 2865c – had a sufficiently “distinctive character” to warrant the trademark.

A Cadbury spokesman said the company was “pleased” with the ruling, given that the distinctive shade of purple is something company employees “jealously guard.” The Birmingham Post reports that overturning the trademark would have “opened the floodgates for rivals, including supermarkets, to use the color on their own-brand chocolate bars.”

(MORE: Bittersweet Deal? Cadbury Accepts Kraft Takeover)

Cadbury’s purple power is not omnipotent, however. The trademark is limited to chocolate bars and drinks, and Nestlé will still be able to sell its purple-hued Quality Street assortments.

Experts say the decision is a “major relief” for Cadbury, ensuring its sweets will remain easily distinguished by children too young to read.

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