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 stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

Updated 21 June 2018
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Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

  • Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months
  • MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds

LONDON: Saudi Arabian equites are poised to attract up to $40 billion worth of foreign inflows, following a landmark decision by index provider MSCI to include the Kingdom’s stocks in its widely tracked Emerging Markets index.

"MSCI will include the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, representing on a pro forma basis a weight of approximately 2.6% of the index with 32 securities, following a two-step inclusion process," the MSCI said in a statement late on Wednesday night Riyadh time.

“Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in MSCI’s EM Index is a milestone achievement and will likely bring with it significant levels of foreign investment,” Salah Shamma, head of investment for MENA at Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Arab News. 

“It is a recognition of the progress Saudi Arabia has made in implementing its ambitious capital markets transformation agenda. The halo effect of such a move will be felt across the stock exchanges of the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”

Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months to bring local capital markets more in line with international norms, including lower restrictions on international investors, and the introduction of short-selling and T+2 settlement cycles.

Such reforms prompted index provider FTSE Russell to upgrade the Kingdom to emerging market status in March, opening the country’s stocks up to billions worth of passive and active inflows from foreign investors.

MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds. The inclusion of Saudi stocks in the index, alongside FTSE Russell’s upgrade, is forecast to attract as much as $45 billion of foreign inflows from passive and active investors, according to estimates from Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes. 

The upgrade announcement was widely expected by the region’s investment community, following a similar emerging markets upgrade announcement by fellow index provider FTSE Russell in March. 

“MSCI index inclusion will be a historic milestone for the Saudi market as it will allow for sticky institutional money to make an entry in 2019 which will help deepen the market,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh.