Gummy Bear Battle: Haribo Candy Mauls Lindt Chocolate Teddy In German Trademark Lawsuit

on December 18 2012 2:49 PM
Gummy Bear Battle
In the court battle between the gummy bear and the chocolate bear, the German maker of the chewy treat won against the Swiss company behind a gold-foiled wrapped chocolate teddy in a trademark lawsuit. Wikimedia Commons

In a court battle between the gummy bear and the chocolate bear, the German maker of the chewy treat won against the Swiss company behind a gold-foiled wrapped chocolate teddy in a trademark lawsuit.

A court in Cologne, Germany, sided with Haribo GmbH, the maker of the gummy bear, against Lindt & Spruengli AG of Switzerland, the Associated Press reported.

Gummy bears trace their origin to Germany. Haribo founder Hans Riegel created the chewy treat in 1922.

Haribo argued in court that the that the two similar products are often sold side-by-side on store shelves and that customers would be mistaken that one is a gummy bear and one is a chocolate teddy. The company claimed Lindt violated its trademark.

Lindt’s “Goldbaer” chocolate bear can no longer be sold as part of the ruling, the AP reported.

The Lindt bear product is officially called “Lindt Teddy,” but the AP reported that customers have come to call it a “Gold Bear” because of its packaging.

Both the gummy bear and chocolate bear are packaged with red ribbons, but Haribo’s treat features a cartoon bear while Lindt’s sweet offering has a red ribbon tied around the gold-foiled wrapped chocolate bear.

The Cologne court did not side with Lindt’s argument that the two products are different enough that customers would not be confused. The Swiss chocolate maker also noted that it uses gold packaging for chocolate bunnies sold during Easter. The company unsuccessfully argued that that point makes it clear that the bear is chocolate.

Lindt did not say whether it would appeal the ruling.

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