SWITZERLAND, Vevey. The International Court of Justice in The Hague has prohibited the Swiss food company Nestlé from marketing its vegan hamburgers in Europe under the name "Incredible Burger". According to the judges, the name is too similar to the brand name "Impossible Burger" of the US startup Impossible Foods and therefore violates copyright law.
"We are grateful that the court recognizes the importance of our trademark. The ruling protects our trademark from attack by a powerful multinational giant," said Dana Wagner, head of legal for Impossible Foods. Nestlé had argued against the ruling that any company should be able to use the term "Incredible" to describe its products.
Nestlé has four weeks to withdraw products bearing the "Incredible Burger" label. Failure to do so could result in fines of €25,000 per day for each of the ten Nestlé subsidiaries involved in the court case. The company intends to appeal, but will abide by the ruling. It had previously prepared the launch of a new product called "Sensational Burger". All plant-based meat replacement products will now bear this name.
Impossible Foods is currently preparing the launch of the Impossible Burger in Europe. Nestlé has been offering the Incredible Burger in Europe since April 2019. At the same time, the megacorporation was in negotiations with Impossible Foods to obtain a licence to sell the Impossible Burger. According to the International Court of Justice, Nestlé wanted to make the European launch of the Impossible Burger more difficult with the Incredible Burger.