• 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
Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia
File photo: DPA

Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia

Camera traps have spotted a wolf for the second time in a month in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state environment ministry reported on Friday. READ  

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay
Paraguayan police on patrol in an area known to contain EPP rebels. File photo: DPA

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that two Germans living in Paraguay were kidnapped and killed earlier this week. READ  

AfD braces for busy conference weekend
"Vote AfD!" reads the flyover message. Photo: DPA

AfD braces for busy conference weekend

As leaders of the Germany's anti-Euro upstart party Alternative for Germany (AfD) prepare for its party conference this weekend, the potential for chaos is rising. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

UPDATE: Two people were rescued from avalanches as a blast of winter has taken Germany by surprise, while snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday. READ  

BND collects 220 million phone records a day
Photo: DPA

BND collects 220 million phone records a day

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) collects 220 million pieces of information about foreign phone calls and SMS every day, Zeit Online reported on Friday. READ  

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers
Photo: DPA

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers

Germany temporarily hit the brakes Friday on applying its new minimum wage to foreign truck drivers transiting the country in a move welcomed by Poland, which vigorously opposed the system. READ  

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
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

3,971
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd