Chocolate and cocoa group Petra Foods has defended its Delfi Take-It chocolate bar after Swiss food giant Nestle filed a trademark lawsuit against the firm in Singapore.
In a statement today (25 April), Petra said the product is sold under its own “unique and distinctive” brand name, and any pictures of wafers or other elements on the product packaging are “supportive to the dressing of the product”.
Such packaging, the company said, is “commonly practised by the industry and all major food and beverage companies and as such does not amount to either trade mark or copyright infringement”.
Petra Foods launched the product in August 2010. The bar comprises two chocolate covered finger wafers packaged in a red and white wrapper.
Nestle said it negotiated with Petra in an attempt to resolve the dispute but negotiations failed. Petra launched a four-finger variant in April 2012.
The world’s largest food manufacturer said it considered this as another infringement of its trademark rights and lodged a lawsuit against Petra and Delfi.
Nestle’s 21 claims in court documents include demands that Petra Foods halts production of the two- and four-finger chocolate wafers. The company has also lodged court action in the Philippines against the same product on similar legal grounds.
“The protection of our intellectual property is an important component of our business strategy and we vigorously defend such intellectual property against infringement by third parties,” Nestle said.
Petra has lodged a counter-action aiming to cancel Nestle’s registrations for the Kit Kat two- and four-finger shapes on the grounds that they “lack distinctiveness” and should therefore not have been accepted to registration.
“The sales of the Delfi Take-It wafer product in Singapore forms less than 0.1% of the branded consumer division’s 2012 sales of US$477.7m,” Petra said in a statement. “Whilst not significant from an overall perspective, the company is taking the case seriously as a matter of principle and intends to defend the claims.”