• Germany's news in English
 

Haribo mauls Lindt in gummy bear battle

Published: 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
Spectator killed in Nürburgring crash
A section of the Nürburgring's north circuit

Spectator killed in Nürburgring crash

A man has been killed and several others injured in an accident at Germany's Nürburgring racetrack. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germany to hold April service for crash victims
Photo: DPA

Germany to hold April service for crash victims

Germany will hold a national memorial ceremony and service on April 17 for victims of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, regional authorities said on Saturday. READ  

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram
The world's roundest sphere. Photo: DPA

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram

The German Nation Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig has set itself the enormous task of finding a new formula for measuring a kilogram. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day
Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day

Germanwings said on Friday that it had no knowledge of a doctor-signed sick note found by investigators at flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's flat. READ  

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: DPA

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation

Update: After German tabloid Bild reported that Germany's least-favourite Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis was considering resigning, the minister rejected the story on Twitter. READ  

Germany to expand disability rights
Photo: DPA

Germany to expand disability rights

A representative of the German Labour Ministry went before a UN Committee on Friday to discuss the government's plan for improved rights for disabled people. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral
Photo: DPA

Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral

A Facebook post describing how a Germanwings pilot personally reassured his passengers of their safety on a flight on Wednesday has received over quarter of a million likes. READ  

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads
Photo: DPA

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads

The Bundestag (German parliament) passed a hugely controversial law on Friday which will charge foreigners for the use of German roads. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) confirmed on Friday afternoon that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study
Spanish immigrants in Germany. Photo: DPA

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study

A study by the Bertelsmann Institute found on Friday that Germany will need around half a million new immigrants every year until 2050 to maintain its work force. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
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

7,156
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd