The world famous chocolate brand KitKat has finally lost a 16 year old case. The chocolate brand tried to be the only four fingered chocolate bar manufacturer but it couldn’t. There was a long case for the trademark of this four fingered chocolate bar for 16 years and in the end, KitKat had to lose it. It said that the feature of the chocolate bar is unique and it should be protected just like the pyramid blocks of Toblerone are trademarked. Nothing significant worked out and KitKat lost 16 year old case for trademark in the European Union.
The European Court further stated that the Norwegian Kvikk Lunsj which manufactures snack for skiers and hikers also has the same shape as KitKat has. After the decision, the manufacturer of Kvikk Lunsj, Mondelez will be able to market its product in a wider area. Kvikk Lunsj (Quick Lunch) came into Norwegian market in 1937 whereas after two years, KitKat was also introduced in the UK market.
Nestle, the owner of KitKat in 2016 found that the unique four fingered shape of the chocolate bar wasn’t known in the European Union. The matter got fire back in 2006, when the company came forward to protect KitKat’s trademark. And Kvikk Lunsj challenged the same. The highest court of the bloc stated that in many EU countries the unique shape of KitKat is distinctive. But in several other countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Greece, it isn’t recognizable. The other side, Norway is not EU member, though it follows some rules of the bloc.
KitKat lost 16 year old case – Facts behind the scene
- Nestle, the manufacturer of KitKat lost 16 year old case to trademark its chocolate bar in order to rule the chocolate market.
- It applied for a trademark in 2002 for its unique shape of the chocolate bar.
- The competitors who also have almost same shape had put an objection on it.
- For ten years, the case of worked up on the court.
- A European Union court in 2016 finally stated that Nestle couldn’t provide any proof that the four fingered chocolate bar of KitKat has a distinctive feature all over the European Union states. The trademark was declared invalid.
- Nestle put an appeal against the decision.
- On Wednesday i.e. 27-07-2018, the top court of Europe rejected appeal put by Nestle.
Finally, KitKat lost 16 years old case. The company suffered a major setback in order to dominate the chocolate market. Nestle tried a lot to trademark its unique four fingered shape. As per the reports of Sky News, the company has already protected the trademark in South Africa, Australia and Canada. However, it has lost the same in Europe. Nestle applied to trademark its shape in 2002 to European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
As per the statement of the court, “Although such proof may be produced globally for all the Member States or groups of Member States, it is not, however, sufficient that the party with the burden of providing such evidence produces only evidence that fails to cover part of the EU, even a part consisting of only one Member State.”