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European Court Throws Out Nestle KitKat Trademark Case

Written by Fozia Cheychi on 12 June 2015

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In 2013 The High Court rejected Nestle’s trademark application and now a senior European court lawyer has ruled that confectionary giant- Nestle’s attempts to trademark the shape of their four finger KitKat does not comply with European law.

Nestle had been hoping to trademark the shape of the four finger chocolate bar, however unsurprisingly rival chocolate maker – Cadbury opposed the application.

The opinion of the advocate general has effectively ended Nestlé’s attempts to trademark the popular chocolate bar.

It also brings to a close, the latest chapter in a ten year chocolate war between bitter rivals Nestle and Cadbury, which started with Cadbury’s attempt to trademark the colour purple.

Nestle objected Cadbury’s application and finally succeeded in 2013 when it successfully got the original decision overturned. Now it, appears Cadbury have at long last got their own back.

Nestle had argued that the four finger chocolate bar that was launched in 1935 had been associated with Nestle ever since. As such it had acquired a distinctive shape; therefore the shape should be registered as a trademark.

The company cited a survey in which 90% of the respondents who were shown a picture of the cholate bar without any branding embossed on it, mentioned KitKat in their comments.
But however, in some UK shops a less well known but similar looking Norwegian chocolate bar called “Kvikk Lunsj” (meaning quick lunch) is available. This was launched in 1937.

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