According to the preliminary ruling, Nestlé infringed the trademark Impossible Burger, which was registered in the European Union last year, by naming its product Incredible Burger. The court said the words “impossible” and “incredible” sound and look similar, and the overlap can confuse buyers.
“We are disappointed with this interim judgment because we believe that everyone should be able to use descriptive terms such as‘ amazing ’to explain product qualities,” Nestlé said in a statement. “We will, of course, abide by this decision, but we will also file an appeal in parallel,” it added.
Nestlé said it was preparing to launch a new recipe for burgers using the “Sensational” descriptor. He will apply that name to all the products that used the word “Incredible” in Europe before, including his imitation meat pate, which is becoming a “Sensational Burger”. The company uses Awesome Burger brands in the United States.
Nestlé contacted Impossible Foods in the summer of 2018 to agree on a possible licensing agreement relating to the Impossible Burger, the ruling said, citing legal submissions filed by Impossible Foods.
The global food giant has announced the launch of the Incredible Burger while these negotiations are still ongoing, raising suspicions that it is trying to “frustrate the successful launch” of the Impossible Burger in Europe, the court found.
Nestlé, which has previously sought to invalidate the Burger trademark, launched its amazing burger in Europe in April 2019. under its Garden Gourmet brand. This was followed by the September launch of the Awesome Burger in the United States. According to the verdict, Impossible Foods was written by Nestlé USA in January 2019 warning that the Incredible Burger violates the U.S. trademark Impossible Burger.
The American startup last year filed similar bans against Nestlé in German regional courts, but withdrew them after the courts told them they would not be granted.
The Impossible Food statement says it welcomes efforts to develop plant products, but does not want to confuse consumers. “We are grateful that the court recognized the importance of our trademarks and supported our efforts to protect our brand from the intrusion of a powerful multinational giant,” said Chief Legal Officer Dana Wagner.