Kit Kat Was Unable to Trademark the Four-Fingered Candy Bar Shape
After seven years of fighting to trademark the iconic four-fingered shape of the Kit Kat bar, Nestlé has lost its case in the court of appeals in London. The court ruled that the candy bar’s appearance was not unique enough to warrant a trademark and was not a “badge of origin,” as the company had original argued.
“We are concerned here with ... the three-dimensional shape of a chocolate product, that has no inherent distinctiveness,” said Lord Justice David Kitchin in a statement concerning the court’s ruling.
This marks a win for confectionary rival Cadbury, which had been battling Nestlé in court to maintain production of the Norwegian candy bar, Kvikk Lunsj (translation: “Quick Lunch), which looks remarkably like a Kit-Kat, and is also made with wafers enrobed in milk chocolate. The Kvikk Lunsj has been around since 1937, while the Kit Kat was developed in 1935, a mere two years before, and was originally called “Chocolate Crisp.”
Nestlé has vowed not to give up the fight for the “distinctive character” of its humble chocolate bar:
“Nestlé is disappointed by the Court of Appeal judgment and is considering next steps,” the confectionary company said in a statement. “KitKat is much loved around the world and its four-finger shape is well known by consumers. Nestlé's four-finger shape has been granted trademark registration in many countries of the world, for instance Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada, further protecting it from imitations.”