It is a crazy world out there these days and everybody seems to be suing somebody over something. It highlights the importance of having patents, copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property done legally and done the right way. It seems there is a fine line between what individuals and companies are entitled to these days so to have your intellectually property legally protected and in turn your rights pertaining to that property protected also is more important than ever. Cases like Cadbury versus Nestle highlight the need for how much detail you need in a patent, copyright, trademark or any intellectual property in order for your rights to that intellectual property valid.
The case involved Nestlé’s packaging of a similar product in a color almost identical to Cadbury’s trademark purple cover. The case actually came down to the simplest, almost minute detail in the case, the color ‘Pantone 2685C’ which Cadbury had been using in their successful Chocolate Crème Egg packaging for over 90 years. The judge ruled that Cadbury’s rights were protected because it was truly a signature aspect of the product even though Nestlé Corporation vehemently protested that colors were not protected under copyright and trademark laws. The judge added that the color is a distinctive part of the Cadbury Brand and was therefore entitled to protection. In a small victory for Nestlé’s, it was also ruled that they could continue using the purple color on other chocolate products that were dissimilar to any in Cadbury’s product line.
This is a great example of how far companies are willing to go to protect what they feel are their rights when it comes to intellectual property. Something as simple as a color ended up being the focus of a landmark case which will probably be used to set precedence for years to come.
It is something very important for anyone who is considering legally protecting a piece of intellectual property they own and the need for proper legal guidance when doing it. If something as simple as a color can come down to deciding a big court case then imagine how detailed and thorough your intellectual property documentation must be? It is scary these days to even think about. So be smart and proactive, don’t go it alone and expose your hard work and effort to risk. Take on the process with sound legal guidance.