For more than a century, the British confectioner has been wrapping its chocolate goods in royal purple wrappers as an honor to Queen Victoria. And now Cadbury has won a trademark dispute with Nestlé over the rights to the “iconic” purple color that Cadbury uses on its wrappers.


The ruling follows a three-year battle between the chocolate companies. In 2008 Nestlé challenged Cadbury’s application to trademark the color, which it had used on its packaging since 1914. Nestlé, claimed Cadbury should never have been able to trademark the color back in 2008.

However, 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. The trademark is limited to chocolate bars and drinks, while Nestlé will still be able to sell its purple-hued Quality Street assortments.

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.” All-in-all, at least Cadbury can rest easy knowing that its sweets will remain easily distinguished by choc-addicted children who are too young to read.