1. Is it really possible to register a product shape as trade mark (such as a bar of chocolate)?

Businesses can’t know everything about what can be protected as a trade mark. So it might be surprising that one of the biggest brands in the confectionary industry should put huge effort into protecting the physical form of a chocolate bar. And this is not a first; whereas Nestle has failed – so far – to register the four fingers of their familiar Kit Kat bar, Toblerone succeeded some years ago in getting a trade mark registration for the triangular “Swiss mountain peaks” shape of their bar. Registrations for this kind of trade mark are unusually £valuable so business managers should have that in mind. But the truth is that they can also very tough to get. Success may depend on proving the shape concerned leads consumer purchase decisions – and not, as the court thought in the case of Kit Kat, the snazzy red wrapper.

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