The chocolate Kit-Kat really made its unique identity with its shape like the thin bars. The maker Nestlé, had been fighting a case that it owns the trademark for the shape for more than a decade now but has lost the battle. They wanted to protect the KitKat bars by an EU trademark and applied for the same in the year 2002. But competitors who make similarly shaped snacks objected to it and the battle continued.
The case went on for 16 years with many court cases and appeals for the last ten years. The European Court of Justice - Europe's top court - dismissed Nestlé's appeal to get the trademark. The court's statement reads, "Although such proof may be produced globally for all the Member States or groups of Member States, it is not, however, sufficient that the party with the burden of providing such evidence produces only evidence that fails to cover part of the EU, even a part consisting of only one Member State." Nestlé Launches Pink KitKat Chocolates Made From Ruby Cocoa Beans!
Nestlé had to prove that the chocolate bar is recognizable in all countries to get its trademark. It was successful in doing so in 10 EU countries but it did not have sufficient evidence for the countries of Belgium, Ireland, Greece, and Portugal. So the court could not say that KitKat had acquired "distinctive character" in all EU member states. Boyfriend Ate Kit Kat The Wrong Way, Twitter Advises Girl to Dump Him.
Kvikk Lunsj is KitKat's greatest competitor from Norwegia which produced the snack, two years after KitKats were in the market. While the shape of the chocolate bars is protected in Australia, Canada, and South Africa, Nestlé could not fight the same battle in EU. It had appealed for the trademark of the shape with the KitKat logo on top in the year 2010. While initially, it did have the mark, the manufacturers of Kvikk Lunsj appealed and the long battle for its trademark began. The competitors launched another four-fingered chocolate treat called the Leo bar. The court battle went from one appeal to another and a slew of appeals continued for decades, but it resulted in a major loss for Nestlé.