The confectioner has lost the latest round of its long-running battle with rivals Cadbury to trademark the shape of the KitKat bar in the UK. The court of appeal ruled that the four-finger design had “no inherent distinctiveness”. After deliberating for months, the court needed 16.000 words for argue that the KitKat shape cannot be considered a trademark.
“We are concerned here with … the three-dimensional shape of a chocolate product, that has no inherent distinctiveness,” said Lord Justice Kitchin.
The ruling marks the latest stage in a bitter-tasting battle (earlier posts here, here and here) between Nestlé and Mondelēz, the US owner of Cadbury, that have been battling over the KitKat trademark for seven years.
The ruling clears the way for competitors, including the major supermarkets as well as other confectioners, to produce their own copycat KitKats without fear of legal consequences, although Nestlé still has the option to try to take the case to the UK supreme court.