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Nestlé fails to register four-fingered KitKat bar as trade mark


Nestlé has failed to register KitKat’s four-fingered bar as a trade mark. The Court of Appeal has ruled that a 3D shape could not be registered as a trade mark in the UK.

Court of Appeal

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected Nestlé’s appeal against the High Court ruling, which found that Nestlé could not register a three-dimensional (3D) shape mark in the form of a four-fingered chocolate bar in relation to various goods, including, unsurprisingly chocolate.

Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) decided that the 3D mark had come to be recognised and associated with KitKat, but was not perceived by consumers as an indication of origin, and therefore had not acquired distinctive character.


The decision by the Court of Appeal is the latest in the decade long battle between Nestlé and Cadbury and clears the path for other confectioners to produce their own rival four-fingered bars without fear of legal consequences.


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If you have any questions about trade marks, please contact the Brand Protection team.

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