• Germany's news in English
 

Haribo mauls Lindt in gummy bear battle

The Local · 18 Dec 2012, 19:17

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
Robber threatens woman with “HIV syringe”
File photo: DPA

Robber threatens woman with “HIV syringe”

11 hours ago

A shocked woman in Munich called police on Sunday evening after a man climbed into her car, demanded her purse – and threatened her with a syringe he said contained HIV.

Day in court for first Loveparade tragedy case
Crosses adorn the stairs which festival-goers fought to reach to escape the crush. Photo: DPA

Day in court for first Loveparade tragedy case

12 hours ago

July 2015 marked five years since one of the worst tragedies in modern German history. But this week, those affected by the 2010 Duisburg Loveparade disaster will at last see the case come to court.

Refugee crisis tests EU's core ideals: Merkel
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Refugee crisis tests EU's core ideals: Merkel

12 hours ago

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the refugee crisis facing Europe is testing the core ideals of universal rights at the heart of the European Union.

German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Going down with a bang. The splash diving championships 2015. Photo: DPA

German named 'arse bombing' world champ

15 hours ago

Summer went out with a bang - and a splash - in southwest Germany, where the finals of the "arse bombing“ world championship 2015 were held on Sunday.

Formula One
Rosberg 'overwhelmed' by birth of daughter
Formula One Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg with his wife Vivian. File photo: DPA

Rosberg 'overwhelmed' by birth of daughter

16 hours ago

Star Formula One driver Nico Rosberg confirmed on Monday that he and his wife Vivian are now the parents of a baby girl, saying the couple were “overwhelmed and totally in love”.

'No limit to refugees Germany can take in'
Refugees arrive at an intake centre. Photo: DPA

'No limit to refugees Germany can take in'

17 hours ago

Germany's top official dealing with refugees said on Monday that there was 'no upper limit' to Germany's capacity for taking in people in need of asylum.

Berlin orchestra's Tehran concert blocked by Iran
Daniel Barenboim. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra's Tehran concert blocked by Iran

19 hours ago

Iran has barred famed conductor Daniel Barenboim from entering the Islamic republic because of his Israeli citizenship, thwarting his plan to lead a performance in Tehran, media reported Sunday.

Bundesliga
Dortmund reclaim top spot with Hertha win
Borussia Dortmund celebrate scoring against Hertha Berlin. Photo:DPA

Dortmund reclaim top spot with Hertha win

19 hours ago

Borussia Dortmund reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Hertha Berlin -- their eighth straight win under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

Germany's friendship vow to Afghanistan
Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Afghanistan on Sunday. Photo:DPA

Germany's friendship vow to Afghanistan

19 hours ago

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that German friendship with Afghanistan had "no end date" as he visited Kabul under tight security on Sunday.

Migrants crisis
German media and celebs rally for refugees
A welcome party for refugees in Heidenau on Friday. Photo: DPA

German media and celebs rally for refugees

1 day ago

Germany may have witnessed violent anti-refugee protests this week -- but the message from the country's media and celebrities is a loud and determined welcome for people fleeing the horrors of war.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
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

6,915
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd