Cadbury’s fight to own purple stalls

SmartCompany /

Cadbury has received another blow in its legal campaign to own the colour purple in its marketing of chocolate.

The Trade Marks Office has put Cadbury’s application for trade marks for several shades of the colour purple on hold pending the resolution of Cadbury’s battle against Darrell Lea in the Federal and High courts.

At the heart of the two-year dispute with Darrell Lea is the question of whether Darrell Lea misled customers into thinking its products were associated with Cadbury when it used purple in its stores and for products such as Rocklea Road chocolate and Bo-Peep lollies.

Cadbury had much of its evidence purporting to prove that customers associated purple with Cadbury ruled out and lost the case in the first instance. It failed to get the case re-opened after the judge was ordered to reconsider part of the evidence. And it failed to get the judge excused on the ground of bias. Then it failed to get a retrial considered by the High Court.

A partial retrial is scheduled for March – it will most likely be appealed and so a final outcome is still some time away.

Sounds like a lawyers’ picnic. Darrell Lea’s chief executive told The Australian Financial Review that he would like to get back to making chocolate, but he’ll keep up the fight.


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