Brands: Passing-off decision - Cadbury v the Swiss chocolate industry

United Kingdom
Swiss chocolate decision

Cadbury failed to retain the name of its chocolate bar SWISS CHALET following a surprise result in passing off proceedings brought by the Swiss chocolate industry. The SWISS CHALET product packaging featured a picture of a mountain and a chalet in addition to the Cadbury name and logo. The plaintiffs were concerned to guard the accuracy and the exclusivity of the term "Swiss chocolate" in a similar way as other terms such as "champagne" and "Advocaat" have been protected in the past. The Court found that "Swiss chocolate" did have a specific meaning in England: it meant chocolate made in Switzerland. The use of "Swiss Chalet" would confuse a substantial number of people into believing that the product was Swiss chocolate and was actually made in Switzerland, when this was not the case. It did not matter if in fact the number of people who would be confused was less than the number of people who would not be confused.