Cadbury today (5 February) lost its latest court bid in Australia to stop rival confectioner Darrell Lea using the colour purple.

The claim was the first of 17 appeal points lodged by Cadbury, which is battling to claim a monopoly on using the colour for its products.

The Australian Federal Court in April 2007 dismissed an application by the then Cadbury Schweppes that the use of purple by Darrell Lea amounted to "misleading and deceptive conduct".

In a long-running dispute going back more than five years, Cadbury has objected to Lea's use of various shades of purple in its store signage, uniforms and products.

In the latest court battle, Cadbury appealed orders made by the primary judge on the grounds he should have declined to continue hearing the case because "a fair minded observer might reasonably apprehend that his honour might not bring an impartial and unbiased mind to the question raised in the proceeding, in the light of his Honour's earlier dismissal".

But in a judgment handed down in Sydney today, Justice Arthur Emmet said no fair-minded observer could apprehend that the judge did not bring an impartial and unbiased mind to the second hearing.

Cadbury said in an emailed statement: "Cadbury has sought trade mark registration for Cadbury purple. The Trade Marks Office has accepted the application, but Darrell Lea has appealed the decision. That matter is presently before the Federal Court.

"Cadbury is committed to protecting its intellectual property rights and will pursue the appeal, seeking a new trial."

The second part of the appeal is scheduled for 2 March with other grounds of appeal to be heard on 3 and 4 March.