Court rejects Nestle’s bid to trademark KitKat shape

This file photo taken on October 20, 2016 shows a KitKat on display in the showroom of Swiss food giant's Nestle in Vevey. (AFP)
Updated 19 May 2017
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Court rejects Nestle’s bid to trademark KitKat shape

LONDON: Food giant Nestle has lost a bid to trademark the distinctive four-fingered shape of the KitKat chocolate bar in Britain, the latest round in a courtroom battle with rival candy-maker Cadbury.
The Court of Appeal said there is insufficient evidence that consumers rely on the shape to identify the milk chocolate-coated wafer bar.
David Kitchin, one of the three judges, wrote that it was not enough that “consumers merely recognize it and associate it with the applicant’s goods.”
The Swiss food company first tried to register the trademark in 2010, but the application was opposed by Cadbury.
Nestle said it was disappointed with Wednesday’s ruling and was “considering next steps,” which could include an appeal to the Supreme Court.
It said KitKat’s shape has been granted trademark protection in countries including Germany, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada.
Mondelez International, which owns Cadbury, welcomed the ruling.
In 2013, Nestle won a battle over Cadbury’s attempt to register the purple shade of Dairy Milk chocolate wrappers as a trademark.
Sally Britton, intellectual property lawyer at law firm Mishcon de Reya, said “non-traditional” trademark registrations — including shapes, sounds, colors and smells — are becoming increasingly popular.


Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.