Whiskas Purple to become registered trademark

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 29th June 2010

Whiskas purple pawMars Australia has been given the go-ahead by the Federal Court to register Whiskas Purple as a trademark for cat food, after rival Nestlé withdrew its earlier opposition.

Justice Annabelle Claire ordered that the application should proceed to registration, noting that Mars Australia has used the Whiskas Purple colour here since 2000.

The court was told that the colour was created for the European arm of Mars ‘from scratch’ to market their products. Justice Claire agreed that the use of the colour was part of Mars’ brand identity for their products. While Mars accepted that other traders used purple in their packaging and advertising, they argued it was not shown to be ‘trade mark use’.

“It was a colour carefully chosen and the precise colour specifically developed in order to create a stronger brand identity for Whiskas,” she said.

Nestlé is believed to have struck a deal with Mars, allowing them to continue to use purple on their Purina-brand cat food.

The decision is one of a series of recent colour trademark claims, with companies rushing to secure their colours after the landmark decision to allow Cadbury to trademark five shades of purple for its packaging, after a ten-year dispute with Darrell Lea. Telstra has now trademarked its yellow phonebooks and Bluescope its light blue for steel. In Europe, disposable paper product manufacturer Renova has laid claim for its black toilet paper and tissue products.