The distinctive purple tone used on Cadbury chocolate wrappers (Pantone 2685C purple) isn't just instantly recognisable — it's a legally-protected trademark. That trademark was upheld this week in a UK legal battle between Cadbury and rival Nestle, leaving the Kraft-owned Cadbury with the exclusive right to use the shade on chocolate bars and drinks.
Picture by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Cadbury also routinely specifies its purple shade in its Australian trademark registration. What does that mean in practical terms? If you want to sell chocolate bars, even home-made ones on a market stall, I'd stay away from that exact shade. You can still freely use it in other non-chocolate design contexts (its RGB values are 59, 0, 131, or #3B0083, if you're curious). But don't be surprised if people start drooling.
Colour trademarks don't stop similar colours being used; check out ALDI's Brekkie Mite for one obvious local example.
[via Design Week]