Sweet victory for Nestlé in Mondelēz purple dispute

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chocolate

Mondelēz’s Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar uses the distinctive purple colour
Mondelēz’s Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar uses the distinctive purple colour
Nestlé has won final victory in a 10-year battle to prevent Mondelēz International from trademarking the Dairy Milk purple colour it uses for Cadbury milk chocolate bar and drinking chocolate packaging.

In October last year, the EU Court of Appeal upheld Nestlé’s move​ to block Mondelēz’s trademark application. However, Mondelēz refused to back down and applied to appeal against this verdict in the European Supreme Court, which has now denied that application.

The decision means the case has finally been brought to a conclusion, having kicked off with the initial trademark application by Cadbury in October 2004, which Nestlé opposed.

‘Right outcome’

“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,”​ said Nestlé in a statement issued yesterday (April 3). We believe the Court of Appeal decision was the right outcome from a legal perspective.”

Mondelēz played down the decision in its response: “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.”

Its views echoed opinions given by lawyers FoodManufacture.co.uk spoke to in October 2013 in response to the Court of Appeal ruling.

‘Over 100 years of use’

Ed Meikle, partner, intellectual property, at law firm DWF said: “Cadbury is protected by over 100 years of use of its purple and it would be a brave Nestlé to suddenly rebrand its Lion Bar​ [for example] using the same colour. It will not be bringing out any chocolate any time soon with the same shade of purple.”

Cadbury’s original trademark application refers to: “The colour purple (Pantone 2685C), as shown in the form of application, applied to the whole visible surface, or being the predominant colour applied to the whole visible surface, of the packaging of the goods.”

Related topics Legal Confectionery

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast