Nestlé has been ordered by a Dutch court to stop using the product name “Incredible Burger” following a preliminary injunction filed by Impossible Foods.
The District Court of The Hague ruled that Nestlé’s use of “Incredible” for its plant-based burger in Europe infringed upon Impossible Foods’ trademark and said it was “likely to confuse customers”.
Following the court ruling, Nestlé is prohibited from branding products “Incredible Burger” in Europe and has four weeks to withdraw the infringing branding from retailers or each of the 10 subsidiaries involved will face a €25,000 penalty per day.
Nestlé launched the Incredible Burger under its Garden Gourmet brand in Europe last year.
During the ruling, the European court noted that Nestlé deliberately used similar visual, phonetic and conceptual similarities to the Impossible Burger trademark to capitalise on the strength of Impossible Foods’ brand.
Dana Wagner, Impossible Foods’ chief legal officer, said: “While we applaud other companies’ efforts to develop plant-based products, we don’t want consumers confused by simulacra. We’re grateful that the court recognised the importance of our trademarks and supported our efforts to protect our brand against incursion from a powerful multinational giant.”
Nestlé has since announced plans to unveil a new burger recipe across Europe as part of its Garden Gourmet range named Sensational Burger. The Swiss food and beverage giant said it will rebrand all of its products that previously used the ‘incredible’ descriptor in Europe to “sensational”.
In a statement sent to FoodBev, a Nestlé spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by this provisional ruling as it is our belief that anyone should be able to use descriptive terms such as ‘incredible’ that explain the qualities of a product. We will of course abide by this decision, but in parallel, we will file an appeal.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020