According to a preliminary ruling, Nestlé infringed the Impossible Burger trademark, which was registered in the EU last year, calling its product Incredible Burger. The court said the words “impossible” and “unbelievable” sound similar, and the overlap may confuse customers.
Nestlé said in a statement: “We are disappointed with this interim ruling because we believe anyone should be able to use descriptive terms such as “unbelievable” to explain the quality of the product. Of course we will comply with this decision, but at the same time, we will appeal.”
Nestlé said it was preparing to use the “Sensational” descriptor to publish new burger recipes. It will use the name on all products that previously used the word “Incredible” in Europe, including its imitation patty, “Sensational Burger.” The company uses the Awesome Burger brand in the United States.
According to the ruling, Nestlé contacted Impossible Foods in the summer of 2018 to negotiate a licensing agreement on possible Hamburg. The ruling cited Impossible Foods’ legal opinion.
The court found that the global food giant announced that while these negotiations were still underway, it launched an “incredible burger”, which made people suspect that it was trying to “frustrate the successful launch of an impossible burger in Europe.”
Nestlé had previously tried to declare the Impossible Burger trademark invalid and launched Incredible Burger in Europe in April 2019. Operates under its Garden Gourmet brand. Next is the Awesome Burger launched in the United States in September. According to the judgment, Impossible Foods wrote to Nestlé in January 2019 to warn Incredible Burger of infringement of the American Impossible Burger trademark.
Last year, the American startup issued a similar ban on Nestlé in the German District Court, but after the court informed them that it would not be approved, the ban was lifted.
Impossible Foods said in a statement that it praises the efforts to develop plant-based products, but does not want consumers to be confused. Chief Legal Officer Dana Wagner said: “We are pleased that the court is aware of the importance of our trademark and supports our efforts to protect our brand from the invasion of powerful multinational giants.”