Nestle fails to trademark four-fingered KitKat bar

Swiss maker of Kit Kat bar fails to secure UK trademark

The ruling is the latest in a 20-year battle between the two candymakers.

Nestle had argued that the shape of the famous snack was iconic and deserved protection.

But time after time, judges have thrown out the attempt.

As the BBC points out, a similar bar from Norway called Kvikk Lunsj has been around since 1937 and features the same four-fingered shape.

The ruling is the latest twist in a decade-long United Kingdom chocolate wars saga between Nestle and Cadbury.

Nestlé said that it was disappointed by the judgment and considering its next step.

"This judgment does not mean that our four finger-shape is now free for use in the United Kingdom or elsewhere", the company said in an emailed statement.

The most recent ruling can only be highly irritating for leadership at Nestlé, which has successfully trademarked the Kit Kat shape in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and South Africa, among other places.

The maker of KitKat has failed in its attempt to trademark the shape of the chocolate bar in the UK. 'This judgment does not mean that our four finger-shape is now free for use in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

However, following a challenge brought by Cadbury, now a subsidiary of Mondelez International, the trade mark was declared invalid in 2011. Cadbury won the claim in 2012.

Mr Justice Arnold had ruled against Nestle after a High Court hearing in January 2016, when he commented on a lack of samples.

The Norwegian chocolate bar standing in Nestle's way.

The ruling comes after months of deliberation. It concluded the shape of the KitKat was distinctive in the UK.

Lord Justice Kitchen said, "We are concerned here with... the three-dimensional shape of a chocolate bar, that has no distinctiveness".

In overturning a High Court ruling in Cadbury's favour, Sir John Mummery said: 'To allow a registration so lacking in specificity clarity and precision of visual appearance would offend against the principle of certainty.

"The court accepted that customers may recognise shapes, but confirmed that the key issue is whether customers rely on that shape, and that shape alone, to denote the commercial origin of the goods", said Shaw.

Swiss chocolate manufacturer Nestlé has been trying to prevent competitors from creating chocolate snacks that look like its own KitKat brand for a decade. Nestle took over Rowntree in 1988.

Even so, Nestle lost a similar court battle in an European Union court in 2015.

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