Judge ends choc tit-for-tat

2013-11-30 00:00

THERE was no winner yesterday following a two-year court battle over the appearance and packaging of a chocolate.

Société des Produits Nestlé SA, which produces the Kit Kat, and International Foodstuffs Co. (Iffco), which produces the Break chocolate, were contending over trademarks in the Pretoria high court.

Nestlé is the owner in South Africa of the “4-finger wafer” and the “2-finger wafer” and the slogans: “Have a Break … Have a Kit Kat” and “Take a Break”.

Nestlé sought an interdict against Iffco over the use of the two- and four-finger chocolate wafers.

It submitted that Iffco’s trademarks were “confusingly and/or misleadingly similar” to its own marks.

Iffco’s address is in Shahjah in the United Arab Emirates. Iffco SA is the South African distributor of Iffco products. Iffco’s trademarks in SA include the Quanta Break and Tiffany Break.

Judge Johan Louw said Iffco supplies its chocolate-covered finger wafers to Shoprite-Checkers.

Nestlé sought a ruling scrapping Iffco’s trademark registrations, while Iffco sought the scrapping of Nestlé’s finger-wafer trademarks.

Louw rejected both applications.

He said Nestlé had not proved that Iffco’s packaging of Break chocolates confuses or misleads consumers, who would see the depiction of a finger-wafer chocolate as simply a representation of what was inside.

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