Last December Nestlé won a ruling in the European Union that validated its trademark registration for the four-finger Kit Kat chocolate bar. But last week, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) upheld Cadbury’s opposition to the mark in the UK leaving Nestlé in the unusual situation of owning the trademark registration for the shape of its chocolate bar in the EU, but not in the UK.
The UK IPO ruled that the shape of the Kit Kat bar was technically designed for consumers to break them up easier, rather than as a brand identification element. The ruling noted that consumers did not differentiate the bar by its shape, but by the chocolate bar’s bright red packaging.
According to Just-Food, a Nestlé spokesperson said: “Kat Kat was launched over 75 years ago and is one of the most iconic shapes of any chocolate bar, recognised around the World. In December last year, Nestlé won a EU ruling on the validity of their EU wide trademark registration for the 4-Finger Kit Kat shape so we are perplexed and disappointed with this national decision by the UK Intellectual Property Office. The UK is the birthplace of Kit Kat and we are assessing whether to appeal.”
Nestlé’s attempt to register the chocolate bar’s shape began back in 2006. Kit Kat bars originally debuted in 1935 as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp. Check out the history of the chocolate bar on the Daily Mail and read about the unusual Kit Kat flavors, like wasabi and apple vinegar, that are available in Japan in our earlier T+B post.
Do you think Cadbury will now launch a chocolate bar similar to the Kit Kat?