Nestle Loses Battle For Kit Kat's Four-finger Trademark

26-Jul-2018 - Switzerland

Swiss food giant Nestle has lost its fight to trademark the four-finger shape of its popular chocolate wafer bar Kit Kat. The European Court of Justice ruled that the four-fingered shape of the Kitkat bar is not distinctive enough deserve legal trademark protection. 

In 2002, Nestle had applied European Union Intellectual Property Office to register the '4 Finger KitKat' product. However, the European Court in Luxembourg on Wednesday ruled against it. 

In 2006, EUIPO approved the trademark to Nestle in respect of the following goods: 'Sweets; bakery products; pastries; biscuits; cakes; waffles'. However, in 2007, Cadbury filed an application with EUIPO to declare the trademark invalid, which was, however, rejected. 

Cadbury then filed a lawsuit before the General Court for the annulment of EUIPO's decision. By its judgment of 15 December 2016, the General Court annulled EUIPO's decision. It considered that EUIPO had erred in law in finding that the mark had distinctive character. 

The ECJ has asked the EUIPO to reconsider its decision to grant Nestle a trademark in the first place. 

This will help Norwegian chocolate bar Kvikk Lunsj, as it has a similar shape. The Norwegian bar was launched in 1937, two years after Kit Kat - originally called Rowntree's chocolate crisp - which was launched in 1935. (dpa)

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