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Nestlé loses UK trademark appeal

Last week came the news that Nestlé had lost the latest round in a long-running trademark dispute with Mondelēz International over its KitKat chocolate bars.

The Swiss food giant has been trying to trademark its four-finger chocolate bars in the UK for years. In December, the company’s attempt to protect the product’s shape in Europe was dealt a blow when the General Court of the European Union annulled an earlier decision to register the three-dimensional mark.

And last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that the shape lacked “distinctive character for the purposes of trade mark law”.

In a statement sent to Confectionery Production, Nestlé said, “Nestlé is disappointed by the Court of Appeal judgement and is considering next steps. This judgement does not mean that our four finger-shape is now free for use in the UK or elsewhere.

“KitKat is much loved around the world and its four finger-shape is well-known by consumers.”

It argued that the company’s four finger-shapes has been granted trademark registration in other countries, including Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada, “further protecting it from imitations.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Mondelez added, “We are pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision and welcome their conclusion. As we have previously stated, we do not believe the shape of the Kit Kat bar should be protected as a trade mark in the UK.”

What do you think? Should Nestlé’s be granted a trademark for its four-finger KitKat bars? Get in touch by emailing katie@bellpublishing.com or tweet us @confectionprod.

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