Impossible Foods had taken Nestlé to court over the ‘Incredible’ word that infringed on an Impossible Foods trademark.
The Swiss food giant has lost the right to call its plant-based burger “incredible” after Impossible Foods complained of trademark infringement in The District Court in The Hague last week.
According to the court’s ruling, Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger was confusing for consumers and the brand would have to rename it in all the European Union countries.
The court has allowed the company four weeks to recall the ‘Incredible’ product from supermarkets or pay a daily fine of €25,000.
Nestlé launched the plant-based burger in 2019. While the European version currently in controversy over its name is made from soy and wheat protein and is sold in 15 countries across Europe. In the United States, the product is sold as “Awesome Burger” and is made using a pea protein base.
“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,” said a Nestle’s spokesperson in a statement.
“We will of course abide by this decision, but in parallel, we will file an appeal.”
Complying with the ruling, Nestlé has decided to rename the plant-based burgers sold in the European Union as “Sensational Burger.”
“In Europe we offer plant-based burgers, grounds and a new sausage line under our Garden Gourmet brand. As we prepare to unveil a new burger recipe across the continent, we’re excited to announce a new name befitting this innovation: the Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger,” said a company spokesperson.
Impossible Foods were thrilled at the Dutch court’s ruling after similar requests lodged in Germany’s regional courts in Frankfurt and Hamburg failed.
The US plant-based startup is preparing to launch its Impossible Burger in Europe and registered the details in the European Union last year.
“This injunction from The Hague is a major victory – it’s a real David v. Goliath episode against the largest food company in the world, which was attempting to confuse consumers with an inferior attempt at a knock-off,” said Rachel Konrad, a spokesman for Impossible Foods.
“The branding, description, marketing, the name itself – just shameful.”
Impossible Foods’ chief legal officer Dana Wagner added in a statement: “We’re grateful that the court recognized the importance of our trademarks and supported our efforts to protect our brand against incursion from a powerful multinational giant.”
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