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Lindt and Haribo Gold Teddy row to rumble all the way to German Supreme Court

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By Oliver Nieburg+

19-Dec-2012

Lindt and Haribo’s trademark battle over golden bears in Germany will drag on until a Supreme Court decision despite yesterday’s ruling in favour of Haribo, sources told this site.

A Cologne regional court found Lindt’s Gold Teddy did indeed infringe the trademark rights of Haribo’s golden bear as both bears had red neckties, were of similar color and operated in the same segment: confectionery.

Lindt introduced ‘Gold Teddy’ in November 2011.

Today’s not the day for Teddy Bears’ picnic

However, Sylvia Kälin, corporate communications for Lindt, told ConfectioneryNews.com that appeals would be lodged to the highest level to answer whether a registered brand/word (Haribo "Goldbär") can collide with a 3D shape (the shape of the Lindt Baer or Teddy).

Haribo and Lindt agreed on bringing this case through all instances and to achieve a Supreme Court decision on this question which has never been ruled by a court before,” she said.

"The decision of the Landgericht Köln was the first instance decision (in favour of Haribo). “

“This decision and all further decisions will be appealed (by Lindt or Haribo) until Supreme Court's decision will be achieved,” she continued.

 She said that, the Lindt Teddy would be on the market without restriction until a Supreme Court ruling.

Haribo: Judgement welcome

A spokesman for Haribo told this site “We welcome the judgment of the district court and hold it for very justified.” [German translation]

He said that Haribo had conducted a survey and found that 90% of respondents linked Gold Bear with Haribo.

ConfectioneryNews.com conducted its own survey, which asked if the two products were similar, 76% have so far voted ‘no’ and 24%  ‘yes’ (based on 124 votes).

Lindt has one month to appeal the first instance court’s decision to the Regional Appeal Court Köln.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

"On first glance" answers vs. Survey answer

on first glance it is apparent for many that Lindt has stolen the the Haribo bear's fashion sense, which is probably why Haribo is bent on punishing Lindt for its lack of creavtivity.

However as surveys push thoughts to pen and call for more logical reflection, it is clearly unlikely that consumers will associate a 3D Chocolate Bear sizing 8cm tall to 3D colorful gummy bears sizing 1cm tall.

Summary: Haribo is doing good to protect their product identity now but the worry of brand identity shifting is not not great, nor has permanent effects.

Solution: keep the creativity alive in the confectionery world. That's one of the few food sectors where our imagination is not constricted.
many other cute animals belong to the christmas spirit that have easy chocolate enrobing shapes like ladybirds, piglets, sheep and lucky charms and santas... list goes on.

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Posted by tasteseeker
03 January 2013 | 12h14

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