• Germany edition
 
Haribo mauls Lindt in gummy bear battle
Photo: DPA

Haribo mauls Lindt in gummy bear battle

Published: 18 Dec 2012 19:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Dec 2012 19:17 GMT+01:00

The regional court in the western German city of Cologne upheld the complaint of venerable gummy bear manufacturer Haribo against the distribution of Switzerland's Lindt and Spruengli foil-wrapped "Teddy" bears.

The judges ruled that the "Lindt Teddy" amounted to a "visual representation of the 'Gold Bear'," the brand under which Haribo sells its trademark gummy bears.

Lindt had said that its gold foil and red ribbon to wrap the chocolate bears were in line with the chocolate bunnies the company sells at Easter and that it consciously avoided using the brand name "Gold Bear" or "Gold Teddy".

It also argued that gold was a traditional Christmas season colour and thus appropriate for a holiday treat. Furthermore, the Swiss company told the court, the two products looked nothing alike and would thus not confuse consumers.

But the judges said that shoppers were likely to refer to the Lindt product as a "Gold Bear" because of its appearance and thus dilute the Haribo brand.

"Most consumers would not use descriptions such as 'golden bear figure', 'gold foil-wrapped bear' or 'gold-coloured chocolate teddy bear'... but rather the closest description, particularly considering how well-known the other brand is: Gold Bear," it said in a statement.

Lindt said it would appeal the ruling.

The Cologne court noted that the case was unique under German competition law.

"What is special about the case is that there has been no high court ruling on the issue of a collision between a brand name and a three-dimensional product design," it said.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

21:05 December 18, 2012 by Tonne
Why is Steiff not suing Haribo for copying its representation of the teddy bear?

Come on now people, foil covered chocolate bear versus cellophane wrapped jelly bear. It's not difficult.
23:41 December 18, 2012 by BlueWolf
Not sure, but that gummy bear looks distinctly evil.

Perhaps it is pissed off that bestiality is now banned - or happy and wants its revenge.
00:18 December 19, 2012 by wood artist
This is just another indication that trademark and patent laws have been completely perverted. Apple has a patent in the US for the "rounded corners" on their pads and phones. That's just plain stupid, and the application should have been denied immediately.

Imagine where the world would be if Ford (or any of the early automobile builders) had received a patent for the idea that an automobile has four tires, or perhaps the concept that we steer with the front wheels and power the back wheels. How stupid does these things need to get? Whatever the answer, obviously we haven't reached that point yet. However, I have faith we'll keep right on trying.

wa
00:55 December 19, 2012 by simski
Copyright law claims another victim.
04:22 December 19, 2012 by CoolBlueIce
The Euro-crisis, mass shootings, a growing jobless population... and yet this Chocolate VS. Gummy debate rages. What does this say about our priorities?

One thing for sure, it all comes down to money and fewer consumer choices.
09:03 December 19, 2012 by nonicknameleft
Our priorities? It's just money and protecting your business. Like WA stated there are many silly things copyrighted for the sole purpose of brand identity and sueing someone's arse off. Ritter Sport has copyrighted even square chocolates - no one else can manufacture chocolates that shape. It has got nothing to do with our priorities, it's just all about $ and regardless of how many ppl are killed in a shooting or how many are living on their last euro tomorrow, the Haribo bear will still be there to sue yo ass.

Lindt should employ some creativity - there are many shapes to a bear, why knock on Haribo's trademark?
Today's headlines
Train drivers vote in favour of strikes
A GDL strike in 2011 at Stuttgart station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers vote in favour of strikes

UPDATE: Germany's train drivers' union voted overwhelmingly in favour of widespread strikes on Thursday afternoon. READ  

SoundCloud faces wave of jihadi postings
Photo: DPA

SoundCloud faces wave of jihadi postings

Berlin-based SoundCloud, which allows anyone to share audio files online, plays host to huge numbers of jihadi accounts and postings supporting the Islamic State (Isis). But the uploads do not contravene German law and are not being caught by the startup's moderators. READ  

German of the Week
How 12 words helped bring down the Wall
Genscher on Tuesday on the balcony where he gave his speech 25 years ago (below). Photo: DPA

How 12 words helped bring down the Wall

Half a sentence uttered 25 years ago on Tuesday by the then West German foreign minister helped catalyze the reunification of Germany, which Germans celebrate on Friday. Now 87, Hans-Dietrich Genscher is The Local's German of the Week. READ  

Second Ebola patient to arrive in Germany
Medical personnel practice containment procedures in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

Second Ebola patient to arrive in Germany

A second Ebola patient is set to arrive in Germany from western Africa on Thursday night in Frankfurt. The city's University Clinic hopes to treat the NGO worker on its isolation ward. READ  

Germany ranks third in world university list
Students at Munich's LMU. Photo: DPA

Germany ranks third in world university list

German universities have shot up the world's leading higher education rankings, with Germany now having more institutions among the world's best than any other country after the US and UK. READ  

Expats in Berlin walk Wall for refugees
David Gordon Smith by a stretch of the Wall. Photo: Submitted

Expats in Berlin walk Wall for refugees

A group of expats will walk part of the route of the Berlin Wall on German Unity Day this Friday, almost 25 years after it fell, to raise money for refugees exactly a year after the Lampedusa tragedy. READ  

Rocket Internet shares disappoint on first day
It was more of a bear than a bull market for Rocket Internet co-founder Oliver Samwer (centre). Photo: DPA

Rocket Internet shares disappoint on first day

Start-up platform Rocket Internet entered the Frankfurt stock market on Thursday, in what was hailed as a milestone for German online firms, but the company's share price immediately fell by more than ten percent. READ  

How good is Germany for the elderly?
Photo: DPA

How good is Germany for the elderly?

A study comparing quality of life for older people around the world has ranked Germany 5th out of 96 countries. How good a place is Germany for the elderly? READ  

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight
A burnt out car on Alten Jakobstraße, Kreuzberg, on Thursday morning.

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight

Ten cars were set on fire across Berlin on Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the second night of disturbances in the city. READ  

Organized crime on the rise in Germany
Police escort a motorcycle gang in Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Organized crime on the rise in Germany

Organized criminals are increasingly active in Germany, with the mafia as well as biker and international gangs making headway in the country, according to a government report. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Eight expat groups to save you
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,163
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd