Nestle loses latest KitKat legal battle……….
Nestle loses latest KitKat legal battle as High Court rules four-finger bar can’t be trademarked
Today’s ruling that the four-finger shape of the popular
chocolate biscuit bar can’t be legally protected was welcomed by
Nestle’s bitter rival Cadbury’s
Chocolate giant Nestle has lost its legal battle to trademark the shape of its iconic KitKat bar.
It means the creator of the best selling four-finger treat is powerless to block a string of copycats from arch rival Cadbury as well as supermarket own-brand treats.
The High Court ruled today that the shape itself was not enough to give the snack trademark status.
Nestle had argued that 90% of consumers shown an unmarked four finger Chocolate bar believed it was a KitKat.
But Mr Justice Arnold kicked out the Swiss company’s bid to be granted a monopoly on the shape.
ruling is a blow for the confectionery maker, which has battled for
almost six years to have the familiar bar protected by a trademark to
prevent competitors from ripping off its design.
It follows a judgement by the European Court of Justice in September last year which also ruled the shape alone was not unique enough to warrant a coveted trademark.
said it would appeal the decision and added in a statement: “KitKat is
much loved and the iconic shape of the four-finger bar, which has been
used in the UK for more than 80 years, is well known by consumers.
believe that the shape deserves to be protected as a trademark in the
UK and are disappointed that the court did not agree on this occasion.”
Cadbury was thrilled with the court’s decision and said in a statement:
“We are pleased by this ruling by the UK High Court which is in line
with our contention that the shape of the KitKat bar is not distinctive
enough to be protected as a trade mark.”
Today’s judgment was the
latest in a bitter spat between Nestle and Cadbury’s, who have been
locked in a long series of legal wrangles over shapes and colours of
In 2013 Nestle successfully thwarted Cadbury’s attempt to trademark purple as its brand colour in 2013.
Attorney Sharon Daboul at London trademark law firm EIP said: “This seems to be a common sense decision.
registration of the KitKat shape would have given Nestle a valuable
monopoly and competitive advantage over other confectionery
manufacturers, which is one of the reasons why Cadbury has been keen to
“Whilst is it rare to win trademark protection for
shapes, it is not impossible – the Toblerone shape and Nestle’s Walnut
Whip are both protected.”