Chappell v Nestle [1960] AC 87 is a landmark UK case on the law of copyright, which dealt with the issue of whether the sale of a chocolate bar could be used as a basis for claiming copyright infringement.

The dispute arose when Chappell & Co. Ltd, a music publisher, claimed that Nestle had infringed its copyright by including a music record in its chocolate bars and selling them without obtaining a license from the publisher.

The House of Lords (the highest court in the UK at the time) ruled that Nestle had not infringed Chappell’s copyright, as the inclusion of the music record did not constitute a “copy” of the original work. The court held that a copy must be a tangible object that represents the original work in material form, and that the music record was not such an object. The court also rejected Chappell’s argument that the sale of the chocolate bars constituted a rental or loan of the music record, which would have required a license from the publisher.

The case established an important principle in copyright law, namely that copyright protection only extends to tangible copies of a work and not to intangible forms of expression, such as ideas or concepts. It also clarified the concept of what constitutes a “copy” of a work, and established the principle that the sale of a physical object containing a copyrighted work does not necessarily constitute an infringement of copyright.