In a landmark High Court victory last week Cadbury, now owned by the US conglomerate Kraft, saw off a challenge from its rival NestlĂ© over the exclusive rights to use the distinctive shade of purple used on its Dairy Milk wrappers. The ruling was the culmination of a long-running legal battle between the two of the world's biggest confectionery companies but it has also forced a rethink by one of the smallest. The Meaningful Chocolate Company, based in Manchester, produces a special range of fair trade chocolates for Christmas and Easter with a Christian message. Last Christmas it sold a range of chocolate Christmas tree decorations with nativity scenes, displayed in a purple packaging – the colour long recognised by the Church as symbolising advent. But the company has been forced to switch to scarlet wrappers this Christmas after being advised by intellectual property lawyers that it could be infringing Cadbury’s rights.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, last night urged Cadbury to ease the restriction, warning that it could “demean” itself by being “precious” about the colour.

David Marshall, founder of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: “When a large American owned corporation, such as Cadbury, claims the rights to a colour, that is a move which needs careful thought. The reason we use purple is that it has been used for centuries by the church during advent – but apparently no longer … it appears that the association is now with Cadbury."

Christmas? Isn't that something to do with Coca Cola?