Rivals could start using Cadbury’s iconic purple on their sweet wrappers after a choc legal ruling.

The confectionery giant tried to update its 24-year-old trademark for the colour last year after Nestle said its wording was too wide-ranging.

Nestle feared that Cadbury’s claim could threaten its Quality Street hazelnut and car­­amel treat – the Purple One – and its decoration on the box.

Cadbury has now surrendered its 1995 registration for exclusive use after the Court of Appeal backed its Swiss rival.

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars have been wrapped in purple for over 100 years and it was chosen because it was Queen Victoria’s favourite colour.

Trademark lawyer Rebecca Anderson-Smith said the case was “bad news” for the firm, adding: “It seems Cadbury realised their existing trademark registration would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

"They still own a separate registration for that purple, covering ‘chocolate in bar or tablet form’.

"But this includes the same description of the mark considered too broad by the Court of Appeal.”

Cadbury’s US owner, Mondelez, said: “We have not appealed but will continue to protect what we believe is a distinctive trademark.”

Nestle hinted at further action because products like Quality Street “famously use purple”.

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