RPC Bites

RPC Bites #14

07 August 2020. Published by Ciara Cullen, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

Welcome to RPC Bites. Our aim in the next 2 minutes is to provide you with a flavour of some key legal, regulatory and commercial developments in the Food & Drink sector over the last fortnight… with the occasional bit of industry gossip thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

Access the full edition of RPC Bites here

UK Government unveils new obesity strategy

In Issue 13 of RPC Bites, we reported that, following the identification of obesity as one of the major COVID-19 risk factors, the UK Government was expected to introduce enhanced regulations for foods deemed high in fat, sugar and/or salt (HFSS Foods). On 27 July, in conjunction with the launch of its 'Better Health' campaign, the Government did just this. Read more

'Fit Kitchen' trade mark valid and infringed says the IPEC

On 29 July, Fit Kitchen Limited (FKL) won its case for trade mark infringement and passing off against Scratch Meals Limited (SML). Both FKL and SML provide healthy pre-prepared meals: FKL via an online subscription site and SML through the manufacture and sale to supermarkets. FKL's products are sold under a logo containing the words 'Fit Kitchen', which has been protected as a UK trade mark since August 2016. Between December 2016 - November 2019, SML also sold products under the sign 'Fit Kitchen'. FKL therefore issued proceedings for trade mark infringement and passing off. SML denied the allegations and counterclaimed, seeking revocation of FKL's trade mark on grounds of bad faith. Read more

10 billion calories of chocolate to be removed from the UK market

Hot on the heels of the Government's new obesity measures, Mondelēz International, one of the world's largest snack and confectionary companies, has announced plans that will reportedly remove 10 billion calories from the UK market each year. Read more

Ritter Sport v Milka - getting square about German trade marks

If you have ever visited a German supermarket, you will probably be familiar with the square-shaped Ritter Sport chocolate bar (if not, see here). The shape has been protected by a German national trade mark since 1993. On 23 July, a 10-year legal battle between Ritter Sport and Milka, over the validity of the trade mark culminated in a ruling by Germany's Supreme Court (the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)), which upholds Ritter Sport's registration. Read more

Is Asda back on the market?

Walmart has reportedly recommenced talks to sell part of its stake in Asda, in a deal that could see the UK supermarket giant valued at around £7bn. The news comes just over a year after the Competition and Markets Authority blocked a merger between Asda and Sainsbury's, over fears that it would raise prices in supermarket stores, online and at petrol pumps. Read more