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Will Kit Kat get a break in four-finger trademark battle?

11:43 am, 25th July 2018

The food giant has been attempting for several years to trademark the shape of its four-finger Kit Kat bar to prevent others creating chocolate bars in the same shape.

Its already protected in Australia, Canada and South Africa but getting the same level in Europe and the UK has been difficult.

Nestle will hear from the European Court of Appeal on Wednesday, three months after a legal adviser told judges to reject the latest appeal.

This appeal seeks to overturn a 2016 ruling which said shape alone did not determine the product, but customers were influenced by brand names.

Judges often follow the advice of lawyers when passing down their rulings.

Nestle has faced several setbacks in the past, most notably from Cadbury but also Mondelez (which now owns Cadbury), which manufactures a similar looking four-finger bar in Norway called Kvikk Lunsj.

In 2006, the EU granted the trademark to Nestle for the shape of the bars, but this was contested by Mondelez, and since then the court battle has gone back and forth between the two confectionery companies.

Nestle first applied for the trademark for the shape of the bar without the addition of the Kit Kat logo embossed on the top in the UK in July 2010.

Court documents showed that in 2013, a UK examiner determined the trademark in question was “devoid of inherent distinctive character” and rejected the request.

Mondelez and Nestle have often been locked in courtroom battles, with Nestle blocking Cadbury’s attempt to trademark their shade of Dairy Milk purple.