Gummy bear maker loses ‘Gold Bear’ battle
German confectioner Haribo has lost its long-running copyright battle with Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli over the classic ‘Gold Bear’ identity.
"Lindt's sale of bear-shaped chocolates wrapped in a golden foil with a red ribbon is neither a violation of Haribo's 'Gold Bear' trademark nor an illegal imitation of the fruit gum products," said the German court decision.
In 2012 Haribo brought a claim against Lindt, arguing that its chocolate teddies were a "three-dimensional representation" of its gold bear and that consumers could be mistaken because of the similarity of the two bears.
However, the court in Cologne ruled that Lindt had a clearly visible logo on the foil and that the chocolate teddy looked more like the chocolatier's 'gold bunnies' than the Haribo sweet.
Lindt started selling its bear-shaped chocolates wrapped in golden foil under the brand name "Teddy" at Christmas 2011. Haribo has been making its multi-colored gummy bears since the 1960s, and has used the trademark ‘Gold Bear’ since 1975.
Did you know... In other parts of the world, LINDT BEAR is known as "Lindt Teddy"! pic.twitter.com/ezhWTgr3hh— Lindt Chocolate USA (@Lindt_Chocolate) December 8, 2014
The gelatin Haribo bear’s packaging features a cartoon bear with a red ribbon around its neck while Lindt's gold-foil chocolate bear has a real ribbon around its neck.
The German confectioner can appeal against the ruling to the Federal Court of Justice.