Strategy

The Feud: Nestlé vs. Cadbury

The two food giants argue over the colour purple. Seriously.

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(Photo: Nestlé)

The conflict: Food giant Nestlé recently challenged a 2011 trademark that protected the colour purple used on Kraft’s Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar wrappers since 1914 as being distinctive of that brand. Nestlé said it felt a colour shouldn’t be protected under such laws, undoubtedly with plans to use purple for its own delicious purposes.

The outcome: Though a London judge ruled in Cadbury’s favour, Nestlé was quick to claim a partial victory, stating that the decision limits the range of goods Cadbury can colour purple. “In my judgment, it would not be right to say that the colour purple is distinctive of chocolate generally,” said the judge, noting that the trademark applies only to milk chocolate, leaving other companies free to produce white- or dark-chocolate candy bars wrapped in purple.

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