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EU court gives KitKat the finger over trademark bid

A European court has quashed Nestlé’s attempt to trademark its four-finger chocolate bar.

A ruling from the European court of justice stated that the shape of the biscuit did not make it distinctive beyond “mere recognition”, as a result making it illegible for a trademark under EU law.

Due to the ruling brands will be able to continue making four-finger Kit-Kat copycat products, with Nestlé chocolate rival and Cadbury owner Mondelez in vocal opposition of Nestle's case.

Nestlé lawyer Simon Malynicz, told EU judges: “This is not a serious case about monopolising shapes at all,” but about protecting a “chocolate bar that is “highly recognisable and much loved in the UK."

Iain Connor, an intellectual property partner at Pinsent Masons lawfirm told the Times: “Nestlé was trying to trademark just the plain shape of the four-finger bar, without even the word KitKat embossed on it.

“The bar is the shape it is to allow people to break it up into pieces. It [the case] all boiled down to whether it was permissible to get a trademark for something which is the shape it is, purely to have a technical effect.”

KitKat was first launched in the UK by Rowntree in 1935.

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