Hotline: 1800 102 2007
X
Search Business Opportunities
Jul, 26 2018

Kit Kat loses bid to protect shape of four-finger bar at ECJ

Nestle has been locked in a blockbuster legal war with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit which was first sold in 1935.

The European Union's top court today ordered the EU's intellectual property office to "reconsider" Kit Kat's bloc-wide trademark, prolonging Nestle's decade-long battle to claim exclusive rights over the chocolate bar's distinctive shape.

Nestle has been locked in a blockbuster legal war with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit which was first sold in 1935.

In a closely-watched case, the European Court of Justice said the EU's intellectual property office must go back to the drawing board and revisit its 2006 to decision to grant Kit Kat an EU trade mark based on its shape.

But in a break for Nestle, the Luxembourg-based ECJ did not cancel the trade mark outright, as suggested by the court's top advisor in April, with the EU intellectual property office now tasked to re-visit the trademark.

"Today no one has won, no one has lost. Nestle has saved time because its brand remains registered for the time being," a court source told AFP.

"But Nestle did lose a battle as it would have preferred a full confirmation of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) decision," the source added.

The EU's intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the "three-dimensional shape of the 'Kit Kat 4 fingers' product".

This trademark has helped keep copycat candy-bars out of grocery stores, and punished the development of similar treats owned by Mondelez, including the Norwegian favourite Kvikk Lunsj, a Kit Kat doppelganger.

The EU's intellectual property office "must reconsider whether the three-dimensional shape of a '4 Finger KitKat' can be retained as an EU trade mark," a court statement said.

At issue is that the food giant specifically failed to provide evidence that the Kit Kat shape was well enough known in Belgium, Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

A lower EU court "was right to annul the EU's intellectual property office decision, in which it concluded that distinctive character had been acquired" without including those countries in the case, a statement said.

The trade mark criteria "must be shown throughout the EU," it said.

Nestle has already lost a legal bid in Britain -- currently an EU member state but set to leave next year -- to trademark the Kit Kat shape.

Comment
Related opportunities
  • Mobile & Communication/Internet Connections
    About Us: In 2009 Gerardo Taglianetti, founded Phonup amongst first companies  in..
    Locations looking for expansion Delhi
    Establishment year 2009
    Franchising Launch Date 2017
    Investment size Rs. 10lac - 20lac
    Space required 100
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit
    Headquater New delhi Delhi
  • About Us: Join hands with Iris Florets - the happy play..
    Locations looking for expansion Telangana
    Establishment year 2014
    Franchising Launch Date 2015
    Investment size Rs. 5lac - 10lac
    Space required 2000
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit, Multiunit
    Headquater Hyderabad Telangana
  • Others Food Service
    About Us: Kake Di Hatti, serving since 1942. Times of India..
    Locations looking for expansion Delhi
    Establishment year 1950
    Franchising Launch Date 2009
    Investment size Rs. 20lac - 30lac
    Space required 900
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit
    Headquater Delhi Delhi
  • Others Food Service
    About Us: Wicked China is a place that serves up Chinese..
    Locations looking for expansion Maharashtra
    Establishment year 2000
    Franchising Launch Date 2018
    Investment size Rs. 2 Cr. - 5 Cr
    Space required 2500
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit
    Headquater Mumbai Maharashtra
Insta-Subscribe to
The Franchising World
Magazine
For hassle free instant subscription, just give your number and email id and our customer care agent will get in touch with you
OR Click here to Subscribe Online
Daily Updates
Submit your email address to receive the latest updates on news & host of opportunities