Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Brand Loses its Colour

In Customer Experience, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales by Vaughn Highfield1 Comment

Cadbury, Dairy Milk, Nestle, Lawsuit, Copyright, Fiona McBride, Queen Victoria, Birmingham, Customer, Experience, interaction

Everyone knows that iconic purple colour that Cadbury's Dairy Milk bars come wrapped in – after all, they've looked that way for nearly 100 years. But now, things might change, and how could this affect Cadbury's brand?

Having been introduced in 1914 as a tribute to Queen Victoria, the purple of Dairy Milk – Pantone 2865c – is no longer copyrighted by the Birmingham-based iconic chocolate bar.

Thanks to Nestlé winning a court case, 5-years in the making, anyone can make use of the iconic Pantone 2865c.

"This is a massive blow," said trademark lawyer Fiona McBride. "With a heritage dating back to the 1920s, Cadbury had hoped that it had been using the colour purple for long enough."

While this does mean other companies can use the colour – which some surely will make use of – the Dairy Milk brand should hopefully be strong enough to overcome any obstacles that may come its way due to the filing.

Could this mean that Nestl̩ Рwho fought for the colour's freedom Рwants to use it for its own packaging? Or were they really just being the pesky competition?

It's hard to tell, but it looks like the chocolate marketing market could heat up – and we certainly don't want anything melting.

At least Cadbury's can do some pretty damn good adverts.


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  1. M Stanley

    You say that “Pantone 2865c… is no longer copyrighted” but the registration at issue is in fact a trademark. For marketing professionals to confuse those two when they’re trying to defend their brands is a cardinal sin!

    Similarly the successful appeal does not necessarily mean that “anyone can make use of the iconic Pantone 2865c” and to say so is quite misleading. It simply means that this particular trademark doesn’t prevent the use of the colour. Other trademarks, patents and, yes, copyrights, might hinder a particular use of the colour, and people should be just as cautious as they ever were of those issues.

    Overall, pretty dodgy reporting in this article.

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