UK court rejects Nestle's bid to trademark KitKat shape

"To secure trademark protection, it would be necessary to prove that the shape of a product alone is enough to denote a brand in the mind of the consumer".

Swiss food and drink giant Nestle on Wednesday (May 17) lost its legal bid to register the shape of a four-finger Kit Kat chocolate bar as a trademark in Britain.

A spokesperson for Nestlé said: "We are disappointed by the court of appeal judgment and are considering next steps".

A four finger KitKat bar is photographed in London Wednesday May.

Their written 124-paragraph ruling featured images of the four-finger KitKat and its wrapper.

Nestle had launched the appeal after London's High Court had ruled against them in January 2016.

Nestlé first applied to register the mark in 2010, but was later opposed by Cadbury UK, now a subsidiary of Mondelēz global.

It said KitKat's shape has been granted trademark protection in countries including Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada. However, following a challenge brought by Cadbury, now a subsidiary of Mondelez International, the trade mark was declared invalid in 2011.

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Sally Britton, intellectual property lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, said: "The court's decision sets a high bar for the registration of shape marks".

"The distinction may be highly technical, but it is important, because of the nature of the trademark, which gives the trader a monopoly for all time", the ruling said.

A spokesman said: "We do not believe the shape of the Kit Kat bar should be protected as a trademark in the United Kingdom".

  • Zachary Reyes