No confectionery manufacturer can manufacture and sell chocolates in the shape of the KitKat ‘four-fingered’ bar.
“Nestle, which now owns Rowntree, registered the shape of the KitKat as a trademark in 2006, but rival Cadbury then won an appeal that invalidated the registration. Now, however, Nestle has won a European-wide ruling from the board of appeal at the Community Trade Mark Office that reinstates the trademark on the famous chocolate bar and stops rival companies from producing similar products,” reports the Telegraph.
Fortunes must have been lost by so many Indian confectioners and chefs for not having foresight similar to Nestle.
Imagine if no one else could make kaju katlis in a diamond shape bar the company or mithaiwala which first made it. The friendly neighbourhood sweetmeat shop would be serving us square or round kaju katlis. Yuck.
Or imagine a ladoo which was not spherical, but was cuboid. Would it taste as sweet?
Moving away from sweets, imagine a samosa which wasn’t pyramid shaped. Imagine it was spherical, with the ingredients exactly the same and the cooking process identical. Would you tuck in as greedily if you didn’t have the three corners to bite off first before you came to the ‘body’ of the samosa? There’s nothing like first dipping a ‘corner’ of the samosa into the chutney. Lose the shape and the consumer loses the unadulterated pleasure of the dip.
Even more mundane, what if someone had trademarked the round chapati? Google is very helpful when it comes to help on ‘how to make a perfect round chapati’, but there’s no joy if you wanted to make a square one. Would a square phulka puff up as well as a round one, or will it be raw at the right-angles?
The killer of course, is the thought that someone could have trademarked the shape of the humble puri used in pani puris or gol gappas or putchkas. They wouldn’t be ‘gol’ except in outlets owned by the trademark holder?
I would’ve stuck to jhal muri or bhel puri. All the shapes there come from nature – and nothing in them could be trademarked.