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Mondelez threatens trademark battle over bar’s lilac packaging

A multinational confectionery firm has threatened authorized motion towards a London vegan snack maker over the color of one among its fruit bars.

Mondelez alleges that the Primal Pantry’s cocoa bar “exploits” the trademark of its Milka chocolate vary.

Attorneys for Mondelez are demanding using lilac packaging for the bar should cease, warning of a £5,200 penalty every time the trademark is infringed.

Nurture Manufacturers, which owns the Primal Pantry, denies “hurting” the trademark.

The snack bars have been launched in 2016 in a spread of colors in order that “they’ve good differentiation on a shelf collectively”, mentioned Adam Draper, managing director of Nurture Manufacturers.

“We don’t suppose it’s the identical color and even in the identical spectrum,” Mr Draper added.

Regardless of the authorized letter, Mondelez has not supplied proof the packaging color is analogous sufficient to infringe on the Milka trademark, Mr Draper mentioned.

Based in London, Nurture Manufacturers provides plant-based snacks throughout Europe. It employs 26 individuals in its Barbican headquarters and runs a manufacturing facility in north-east England.

“They’ve not sought any info and gone in all weapons blazing,” he mentioned.

“If they will show to me the color is within the vary, I’ll work with them however I’m not going to throw away all our merchandise within the EU.”

To recall the merchandise and take away all packaging at the moment in circulation might value between £30,000 and £50,000 “with out factoring in all of the fines”, Mr Draper estimates.

It’s understood that Mondelez has given Nurture Manufacturers six months to alter the packaging.

US agency Mondelez owns many well-known names, together with Toblerone and Oreo, with the British manufacturers Cadbury and Kenco additionally a part of its empire.

In 2019, its subsidiary Cadbury misplaced an attraction to guard the actual color of purple it makes use of to wrap its chocolate.

A spokeswoman for Mondelez mentioned: “We personal a color trademark in Europe for the distinctive lilac Milka color for meals merchandise.

“As a matter of follow, to guard the values of our manufacturers which now we have labored exhausting to construct over a whole lot of years, we categorical our issues to 3rd events after we really feel they’re utilizing a protected model component.

“Now we have opened up conversations with Primal Pantry to try to resolve the matter amicably.”