In keeping with its sweet-toothed tradition, Google has announced that the latest version (4.4) of its open source Android mobile operating system will be named after a confectionary product. See BBC News Technology Sep. 3, 2013 article. In a significant break however, the new OS will be named after the trade marked “KitKat” bar from Nestlé, which is marketed under exclusive licence in the US by Hershey. This is in stark contrast to the operating system’s generically named predecessors such as “Jelly Bean,” “Cupcake” and “Froyo”, to name a few. The move follows what is, according to statements apparently made to the BBC, a no-cash deal. It is reported that the parties will offer various co-branded consumer incentives, including 50 million special versions of the ubiquitous biscuit-bar featuring both the “KitKat” and green Android logos on the wrapper. See BBC News Technology Sep. 3, 2013 article. Co-branded promotions of this type will be familiar to anyone who has downloaded a song from iTunes after entering a code from the label of a Coke bottle; the co-branded nature of the software upgrade is unusual and appears to be the first of its kind. There has been some speculation as to the actual terms of the deal. No doubt as two of the world’s most sophisticated brand owners, Google and Nestlé will have thought carefully about this co-branding move and all of the potential implications thereof. Sources: BBC News Technology, Google, Nestlé
This article was prepared by Ashley Taheri-Kadkhoda (firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 20 7444 2310) of Norton Rose Fulbright London’s Intellectual property group.