Lindt & Spruengli AG is once again facing trademark litigation over its goldwrapped chocolate candy, this time for its “Teddy,” which Haribo GmbH claims infringes its “Gold-Bears” multi-colored gummy bears product. Lindt was unable to secure a European Union (EU) trademark for its chocolate bunny, but was able to stop Hauswirth in Austria from manufacturing Easter bunnies resembling its bunny. Lindt did not succeed in similar litigation against Reigelein in Germany. Additional information about the EU Court of Justice ruling rejecting the bunny registration appears in Issue 441 of this Update.
Lindt and Haribo apparently agreed to ask a German court to resolve their dispute, and an initial hearing occurred in Landgericht Köln in October 2012. The final hearing is scheduled for December 18. Lindt has reportedly indicated that it specifically avoided marketing its bear-shaped candy as a “Gold Teddy,” but Haribo complains that the product nevertheless infringes its global trademark, secured through the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1975. See Confectionary News, November 9, 2012; Huffington Post, November 12, 2012; Bloomberg, November 13, 2012.