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A court has rejected an attempt by Nestle to trademark the distinctive four-fingered shape of the KitKat chocolate bar in Britain.

The Court of Appeal says 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 giant first tried to register the trademark in 2010, but the application was opposed by rival chocolate-maker 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.

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