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Nestle loses UK appeal to trademark Kit Kat's four-fingered shape
May 17, 2017 / 1:31 PM / 6 months ago

Nestle loses UK appeal to trademark Kit Kat's four-fingered shape

LONDON (Reuters) - Nestle failed in a new bid to protect the shape of its four-finger Kit Kat chocolate bar under British trademark on Wednesday when London’s Court of Appeal dismissed its attempt to overthrow an earlier ruling.

A Kitkat chocolate bar is pictured in the supermarket of Nestle headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, February 16, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/Files

The case pitted Nestle against rival confectionery maker Cadbury, owned by Mondelez, which argued that the four-finger shape “lacked distinctive character”.

A UK court had found in Cadbury’s favour in January, and Wednesday’s ruling is the latest development in an ongoing legal battle since Nestle tried to register the shape as a UK trademark in 2010.

Nestle said it was disappointed by the ruling and was considering next steps.

“Kit Kat is much loved around the world and its four finger-shape is well-known by consumers,” a spokeswoman for Nestle said in a statement, adding that it had been granted trademark in Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada.

Kit Kat is a chocolate-covered wafer, which takes its name from a 17th century literary club. The first four-finger wafer was made in York in 1935 and it was rebranded as a Kit Kat in 1937, according to Nestle’s website.

In Europe, Nestle’s bid to protect the bar’s shape was dealt a blow in December when an EU court declared invalid a ruling from 2007 that Kit Kat had acquired distinctive character through its use.

“We are pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision today and welcome their conclusion,” a spokeswoman for Mondelez said.

Reporting by Alistair Smout in London and Michael Shields in Zurich; editing by Michael Holden

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