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Nestlé loses EU Kit Kat trademark: what are the implications for businesses?

Mar 14, 2017 10:22:41 PM / by Alexis Ovenstone posted in chocolate, EGC, EUIPO, trademarks

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In December 2016, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) dismissed Nestlé’s attempt to register the four-fingered shape of the brand’s signature Kit Kat chocolate bars as an EU trademark. Marking the latest development in a decade-long legal battle between Nestlé and Cadbury (now owned by Mondelez International), the EGC ruling stipulates that the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) must re-examine whether the Kit Kat shape had acquired distinctiveness in all EU member states in respect of all goods covered by it. The decision, which means that the four-fingered shape can currently be used freely across the EU, imposes new obstacles on businesses that are seeking to register a 3D trademark.

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