Three senior judges have referred the ongoing Kit Kat trademark dispute between confectionery giants Nestlé and Mars to the European Court of Justice.


Swiss firm Nestlé, which manufactures the Kit Kat chocolate bar that has long been advertised with the slogan “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat”, had attempted to register “Have a Break” as a trademark to prevent rivals from introducing a chocolate bar called “Break” or “Have a Break”.


Nestlé argued that such a bar would be mistakenly associated with Kit Kat. Nestlé already has the phrase “Have a break, have a Kit Kat” registered as a trademark.


The UK subsidiary of Nestlé had its application to the Trade Mark Registry turned down following an objection from US food company Mars. Nestlé appealed to the High Court in London, but the registry hearing officer’s decision was upheld.


Nestlé took the case to the Court of Appeal, where judges have said there was sufficient uncertainty to warrant a referral to the European Court of Justice, reported the Financial Times.