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The latest twist in a decades long feud with Cadbury.

Elisabeth Sherman
May 18, 2017

A court of appeals in London ruled against Nestle’s attempts to trademark the famous four-fingered shape of its KitKat bars yesterday.

Nestle was trying to make sure that Cadbury couldn’t replicate the well-known design, but the judge ruled that the chocolate company has no claim over it. 

Their case wasn’t helped by the fact that an obscure Norwegian chocolate bar called Kvikk Lunsj (“quick lunch”) has been using the very same shape since 1937.

Nestle had to argue that customers relied on the distinctive shape alone to identify the chocolate bars, a difficult task, given that the brand name is clearly marked on the candy’s packaging.  

The loss comes as blow to Nestle, which has been successful in trademarking the design in several other countries in Europe, but can’t seem to make headway in the UK.

"Nestlé's four-finger shape has been granted trademark registration in many countries of the world, for instance Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada, further protecting it from imitations,” a spokesperson for the company said.

The decision could be mean copycat KitKat bars may soon be popping up at grocery stores in the UK.

The two companies have been at war for years, trying to protect their designs from copycats.

In 2015, Cadbury lost a five-year legal battle to block Nestle from using their signature Dairy Milk shade of purple on their wrappers.

This recent case is a tough break for Nestle, which has had trouble with trademark cases in the past. According to the BBC, it took the company 40 years to secure the slogan “Have a Break” as their own, finally succeeding in 2006.

Clearly the two rival companies haven’t resolved their differences. Here’s to many more years of the chocolate wars.