SOUTH AFRICA: Nestle insists Kit Kat "shape mark valid"
Kit Kat, Break TM dispute rumbles on
Nestle has insisted the shape of its Kit Kat chocolate bar is protected under its South African trade mark of the product, as the dispute with chocolate maker IFFCO deepens.
According to the Swiss food giant, the Tiffany Break bar sold in South Africa by UAE-based IFFCO uses "virtually identical finger shares" to Nestle's Kit Kat wafer and chocolate bars. The two parties have become embroiled in a legal battle in the market as Nestle seeks to "defend" its "intellectual property".
At the end of November, South Africa's North Gauteng High Court ruled that IFFCO was not passing Break bars off as Kit Kats. However, a spokesperson for Nestle confirmed that the firm has lodged an appeal in a bid to overturn this ruling.
In the latest development, IFFCO is now attempting to expunge the "shape mark" associated with the shape of Kit Kats so Nestle cannot claim exclusive rights to the four-fingered and two-fingered bars, the spokesperson said.
Nestle plans to resist this claim. "There is no question on the validity of the Kit Kat trade mark and it is not being challenged by IFFCO. IFFCO is only challenging the exclusive rights to the shape (i.e. the four fingers shape) and we are confident that our shape mark is valid," the spokesperson stressed.
IFFCO was not immediately available for comment.
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