Swiss food manufacturer Nestlé has lost a legal bid to have the four-fingered shape of its iconic KitKat chocolate bar protected by trademark in Britain. The Court of Appeal in London rejected its motion following an objection from confectionary rival Cadbury.
Nestlé said it was disappointed that Britain had not followed the lead of other countries, including Germany, France and Australia, in granting trademark status to KitKat. The world’s largest food producer said it was considering its options, which could include an appeal to Britain’s highest court.
“KitKat is much loved around the world and its four-finger shape is well known by consumers,” the company said in a statement.
Nestlé has been involved in other trademark legal rows in the past, including a previous spat with Cadbury that blocked the British firm from trademarking the colour purple.
Nestlé’s subsidiary Nespresso, maker of the highly successful coffee pod machine, has fought numerous battles with other firms attempting to copy its invention.
The four-fingered chocolate bar made its debut in Britain in 1935 when it was produced as Chocolate Crisp by Rowntree. Nestlé bought Rowntree in 1998.
A similar Norwegian chocolate bar called Kvikk Lunsj, or ‘quick lunch’, has been around since 1937.