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Nestle loses KitKat trademark battle in UK

FBR Staff Writer Published 18 May 2017

A UK appeals court has rejected Nestle's bid to trademark the four-fingered shape of the KitKat chocolate bar.

The food and beverage giant has been locking horns with rival Cadbury in the UK for about a decade over the issue in the courts.

Nestle had been claiming that the uniqueness of the shape of the Kit Kat fingers deserved to be protected by law with a trademark, as reported by the BBC. However, it could not cut ice with the Court of Appeal.

A Nestle spokesperson, according to the publication, said that the company is disappointed with the judgment and is thinking of next steps while adding that Kit Kat’s four-finger shape is popular among consumers.

The spokesperson added: "Nestlé's four-finger shape has been granted trademark registration in many countries of the world, for instance Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada, further protecting it from imitations."

Mondelez, the owner of Cadbury commented on the ruling of the Court of Appeal, saying that it continues to believe that the shape of Nestle’s Kit Kat chocolate should not be protected as a trademark in the UK.

In January 2016, Justice Arnold ruled in a UK High Court that the shape of the four-finger Kit Kat product was not distinctive enough.

Further, the ruling declared that Nestle did not market the shape as a unique selling point as the design was hidden inside the packaging, as reported by the Law Society Gazette.

Much before that in December last year, a European Union (EU) court had quashed an attempt by Nestle to register its Kit Kat shape as a trademark for the chocolate bar across the member states.

Image: Nestle’s four-finger Kit Kat chocolate bar. Photo: courtesy of Nestlé.