Get ready for an explosion of knock-off Kit Kat chocolates

A Nestle logo is pictured on KitKat chocolate bars, during the nine month sale figures news conference at the company headquarters in Vevey October 17, 2013. Nestle said an improvement in emerging market demand helped to lift sales growth in the third quarter, reassuring investors worried by recent negative news from European peers Danone and Unilever. The world's biggest food group and its rivals have been grappling with sluggish consumer demand in austerity-hit Europe, where prices for Nestle's products continued to fall, and a slowdown in many emerging markets. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseNestlé’s Kit Kats.

We could be about to see a flood of new four-finger chocolate bars to rival Kit Kat come onto the market, after Nestlé lost a long-running court battle to protect the shape of its iconic chocolate bar.

A European court has ruled that Nestlé’s attempts to patent the ‘four finger’ design of Kit Kat don’t hold up under EU law. It follows a court challenge by rival Cadbury, which opposed Nestlé’s attempt to patent the design of Kit Kat’s when it filed its request back in 2010.

The decision by the European Court of Justice means rivals are theoretically free to launch their own four finger chocolate bars without fear of getting tied up in the courts.

For those who don’t know, Kit Kats are four wafer fingers that are covered in and joined together by chocolate. The bar’s design has barely changed since launching in 1935 and they are hugely popular in the UK. Nestlé sold £40 million worth of Kit Kats here every year between 2008 and 2010, according to the Guardian.

It’s not the first time Cadbury and Nestlé have faced each other in the courts. In 2013 Nestlé won a long running legal battle to stop Cadbury trademarking the specific hue of purple that runs across all its branding.

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