More on ‘Whiskas Purple’ TM

Tim Golder, a partner at AAR, and Sandi Montalto have published an article with their take on the Federal Court’s recent decision directing that Mars’ trade mark application for the colour ‘Whiskas Purple’ proceed to registration.

Maltesers v Delfi malt balls

Mars’ appeal against the rejection of its claims of trade mark infringement and misleading or deceptive conduct have been tersely rejected.

Images of the product Mars complained about here.

The Full Court noted:

9     It is not in dispute that the evidence established that:
•    confectionary is commonly packaged in primary colours and that red, in various shades, is a predominant and common, indeed ubiquitous, colour;
•    confectionary packaging commonly displays a picture or representation of the product, frequently showing a cross-section or “cut through” of the product;
•    it is not unusual for the name of the product to be written on a diagonal, from bottom left to top right;
•    it is common for packaging of confectionary to include all of the above features.

In this context, the Full Court found that the words malt balls were descriptive and the colour red used by the respondent was not distinctive.

Mars Australia Pty Ltd v Sweet Rewards Pty Ltd [2009] FCAFC 174