Cadburys distinctive purple packaging

Cadbury's distinctive purple packaging

Confectionery giant Mondelez International has said it will continue to try and "protect" the distinctive purple packaging used by its Cadbury chocolate subsidiary, despite losing a long-running court battle over the issue.

A Court of Appeal ruling in London last month confirmed the previous decisions of the UK Intellectual Property Office and the High Court and refused to accept that Cadbury's trademark registration is for a series of two different marks, forcing it to give up one trademark.

The ruling seemingly makes it harder for Cadbury to stop a rival from using a similar colour for its products.

But parent company Mondelez International has vowed to fight on to protect itself from rivals which make their products look like Cadbury's.

In a statement sent to just-food, a Mondelez International spokesperson said: "We have not appealed the decision, but will continue to protect what we believe is a distinctive trademark (Cadbury Purple) and challenge those who infringe it."

The battle over the company's trademarking of the purple packaging has been rumbling on for many years.

In 2012 Cadbury won a case to stop other chocolate firms using the colour - known as Pantone 2865c.

But fellow confectionery giant rival Nestlé challenged that and in 2013 won an appeal.

Mondelez International's most recent move, resulting in the Court of Appeal ruling last month, was to claim the trademark had two parts.

Cadbury's trademark for the colour "applied to the whole visible surface, or being the predominant colour applied to the whole visible surface".

Mondelez International tried to expand the trademark to cover the colour even if it was only visible on a small part of a wrapper but the Court of Appeal ruled against this.

A spokesperson for Nestlé said of the ruling: "We agree with the judgement that Cadbury's registration is not a series of trademarks and must be cancelled because it is not clear or precise enough. This has been the decision at every level, from the UK-IPO to the High Court and now the Court of appeal."

Rebecca Anderson-Smith, a trademark specialist at London-based intellectual property firm Mewburn Ellis, said: "This decision, although seemingly about an administrative point, is a significant blow to Cadbury."

She added: "Their current trademark is open to attack by Nestlé and other third parties for being invalidly registered as the Court of Appeal previously considered the description of the mark too broad."