22 July 2022TrademarksSarah Speight

Q&A: Olivier Vrins on Cadbury’s colour victory

Olivier Vrins, a trademark lawyer who is representing Veuve Clicquot in an ongoing dispute against Lidl over the colour orange, gives his observations on Cadbury’s success in protecting the colour purple.

Cadbury has emerged victorious by defending its rights to the distinctive colour purple

The case marks the end of a longstanding dispute with rival Nestlé, which appealed Cadbury’s applications for three trademarks all relating to the same colour shade—the recognisable ‘Cadbury purple’.

In what may go down as a landmark judgment, handed down on July 5 by the High Court of England and Wales, Cadbury secured just one of those trademarks—for the colour per se, with no description other than a reference to its Pantone number (2685C).

The case is seen as clarifying what is known as pure Libertel-style marks; named after the CJEU’s decision in Libertel Groep BV v. Benelux-Merkenbureau in May 2003.

In a similar case, Olivier Vrins (pictured), partner at Belgium-based law firm ALTIUS, led the team that secured a victory for MHCS, makers of Veuve Clicquot champagne, against supermarket chain Lidl concerning orange colour marks in 2021.

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