In Europe they fight over finger food. Or at least, Cadbury and Nestle do
Nestle SA may find it harder to convince U.K. judges that the shape
of its KitKat chocolate bar is distinct enough to trademark after the
European Union’s top tribunal set strict limits on what qualifies for
For a shape to deserve a trademark, owners must prove that consumers
can recognize the product exclusively by that characteristic, and not in
combination with another trademarked aspect, the EU Court of Justice
said in a ruling Wednesday.
In 2010 Nestle applied for a patent for its four-fingered
chocolate bar that brings in $60 million a year. Kit Kat was created in Britain in the 1930s, but purchased by Nestle in 1998. Now, it looks as though the Euro Court has given a UK tribunal the okay to deny Nestle its patent.
The EU court Wednesday said trademark protection can’t be given if a
shape “contains three essential features, one of which results from the
nature of the goods themselves and two of which are necessary to obtain a
If it doesn't melt first.
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