German court: square chocolate? That’s Ritter Sport, not Milka


The Bundesgericht, the highest court in Germany, rejects Mondel─ôz’s application. The company that makes Milka chocolate, among others, and had a turnover of approximately $ 25 billion (21.5 billion euros) last year, tried to have the trademark right on square chocolate lifted.

Form recognizable

Family business Ritter Sport, with a turnover of 480 million euros, did not want that. Ritter Sport says the square shape is so part of that brand that customers would recognize the chocolate even if it didn’t have a logo on the packaging. And the German judges have proved them right, appears from the verdict published today.

Normally, a company cannot claim a trademark purely on the basis of the shape of a product, as this does not add value under German law. However, the judges now judge differently. They consider the shape to be so recognizable that it also says something about the origin and quality of the chocolate.

End of years of struggle

The verdict is the latest in a series of lawsuits that the American company launched in hopes of making and selling square chocolate as well. No appeal is possible against the judgment of the German court.

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