Nestle is taking legal action defend its Kit Kat trade mark from alleged violations by IFFCO's Tiffany Break brand in South Africa.

According to the Swiss food giant, the Break product sold by UAE-based IFFCO uses "virtually identical finger shares" to Nestle's Kit Kat wafer and chocolate bars.

At the end of November, South Africa's North Gauteng High Court ruled that IFFCO was not attempting to pass 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 its decision in this matter... the North Gauteng High Court held that Nestle South Africa's Kit Kat finger shape trademarks had become well-known within the meaning of the Trade Marks Act and were fully valid. Accordingly, Nestle South Africa's position in the appeal is that the Court should have found that it was clear that the use of virtually identical finger shapes for IFFCO's directly competing products, in the course of trade, amounted to both traditional trade mark infringement and also trade mark dilution," the spokesperson told just-food today (7 February).

IFFCO, which has operated in South Africa since 2010, was not immediately available for comment.

Nestle has vigorously defended its Kit Kat branding worldwide. The company became embroiled in a legal battle over its kit Kat trade mark with Petra Foods in Singapore last year. At the time, Nestle emphasised that the "protection of our intellectual property" is an "important component to our business strategy".