Who owns the colour purple?

In another example of silly, selfish legal pursuits, Cadbury has been objecting to the use of the colour purple by rival chocolatier Darrell Lea. Cadbury’s wrapping is characterised by the colour, and claims that it uses the colour to connect consumers with their brand.

In a decision characterised by sensibility, the Federal Court has ruled that the use of purple by Darrell Lea does not constitute deceptive conduct. See this Sydney Morning Herald story. According to this story that I found on The Age website, this battle has been going on for 5 years.

Businesses have no right to claim shades of the colour spectrum as their own – I can’t believe that the company’s actually considering an appeal. It’s not as if their logo is distinctive enough to create a connection with consumers, as the picture to the left should clearly demonstrate. Compare it with an example of Darrell Lea’s packaging (right).

Take Coca Cola for example – is it the iconic cursive logo or the red wrapping that is more successful in identifying the brand to consumers?  For some, it may be a combination of both, but for me it’s more likely to be the logo.

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