Nestle Loses High Court Bid To Trademark KitKat Shape In The UK

If you happen to hop across the pond and are looking for a chocolate treat, you might see the familiar shape of a KitKat bar — but it might not actually be a KitKat, after the high court in the United Kingdom put the kibosh on Nestle’s attempt to trademark the four-finger shape of the KitKat bar.

Nestle tried to register the trademark for the first time in 2010, but rival Cadbury UK Ltd. stepped in to oppose it, reports the Associated Press. Nestle argued that the bar’s “iconic shape” has been used in England for more than 80 years, and that consumers know it well.

Other courts dismissed the case, including the European Court of Justice. That court said the company had to demonstrate that the public relied solely on the shape of the KitKat alone to identify it, which it concluded is difficult to prove if goods also have a brand name such as KitKat, reported the BBC.

Britain’s High Court upheld the decisions of those lower courts this week, ruling that the shape of a KitKat bar has not “acquired a distinctive character” enough to satisfy trademark requirements.

Nestle says it’s disappointed in the decision, and plans to appeal it.

“We believe that the shape deserves to be protected as a trade mark in the UK and are disappointed that the court did not agree on this occasion.”