A court in the United Kingdom recently held that Nestle cannot trademark the shape of its chocolate Kit Kat bar. This may pave the way for competitors such as Cadbury to make a similarly shaped bar. Nestle plans to appeal this decision.
The Plaintiff artist in this case claimed that she was approached to create an advertising campaign for Starbucks. She declined but argued that Starbucks stole the core of her style, creating an ad that had the same shapes and colors as much of her art. While “look and feel” claims are common in Copyright suits, “style” is not protectable under copyright law. The fact that Starbucks used similar shapes and colors was not sufficient to support her claim and the suit was dismissed.
Irish fast food chain, Supermac, has successfully challenged McDonald’s EU trademark BIG MAC. After reviewing the mark, the EU Intellectual Property Office found that evidence submitted by McDonald’s was insufficient to support its use. The BIG MAC trademark registration was canceled and Supermac is now free to expand within the UK and EU.