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Lindt and Haribo bears must get along: court

A German court ruled on Wednesday that German Haribo gummy bears had no grounds to complain about copyright infringement by their Swiss chocolatey cousins from Lindt.

Lindt and Haribo bears must get along: court
Lindt bear is looking very pleased with himself. Photo: DPA

As everyone knows, the Haribo bear has since the 1960s enjoyed a status as the only bear native to western Europe. However often young children greedily ate him whole, he seemed to come back in ever greater numbers.

While he is native to the German city of Bonn, he has since spread successfully throughout the continent.

But this position was endangered in 2011 when the Swiss Lindt bear came along – he was the same shape as the Haribo bear, prowled the same territories (the sweets section of supermarkets) and even wore the same fetching ribbon around his neck.

The main difference was that, while Haribo bear is made of gelatine, Lindt bear is made of chocolate.

Haribo bear was far from happy. He growled and roared – and then took Lindt bear to court for infringing on his copyright.

But on Wednesday, the federal court in Karlsruhe ruled that his copyright had not been infringed. Lindt bear had every right to wear the same bow as Haribo bear if he so chose.

Haribo bear let it be know to The Local through a spokesperson that he will wait for all the details of the ruling to be made available to him before he decides on a next step.

Initial indications suggest though that he will not budge, and will continue to wear his ribbon just as he always has.

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OFFBEAT

Mystery meat piles at southwest German train station baffle residents

About half a kilogram of minced meat has been appearing at the railway station of a town close to Karlsruhe at regular intervals. Why this has been happening and who is behind it has left locals scratching their heads.

Mystery meat piles at southwest German train station baffle residents
A portion of minced meat. Photo: DPA.

The portion of raw meat has been showing up for weeks now, and every time a new heap appears – usually on Mondays but sometimes on other weekdays – citizens report it, according to Bruchsaler Rundschau newspaper.

The placement of the meat at the train station in Berghausen is not haphazard; each time it has been deposited behind a fence beside railway track beds.

This is an area where passersby and passengers aren’t allowed to enter as it is territory belonging to Albtal Verkehrs Gesellschaft (AVG) – the company that operates rail and bus services in the Karlsruhe area.

Some pet owners meanwhile worry that the meat is being placed strategically as bait to poison their pets. They have demanded that the meat be examined.

But the police have already given the all-clear.

“The notion that the meat is poisonous or being used as bait has been eliminated,” a police spokesman told Bruchsaler Rundschau, adding that the quantity of meat wasn’t enough to authorize an investigation into the illegal disposal of waste.

Besides, argue some members in a Facebook group created to discuss the mystery meat’s appearances, since the meat is placed behind the fence, it’s difficult for pets like dogs to access.

In the meantime AVG has tried to dispose of the minced meat as quickly as possible whenever it shows up, said company spokesman Nicolas Lutterbach.

“When our cleaning crew have arrived at the scene, often there was not much meat left,” Lutterbach added, unaware of whether any animals have ever eaten it or any residents have ever taken it upon themselves to dispose of it.

And while others have taken the regular occurrence with humour, some Facebook users in the group want to take matters into their own hands. A few have suggested the idea of having someone posted at the scene in order to catch the culprit. 

But whether the local municipality support this or have plans to implement it, police cannot confirm.