Lindt vs. Haribo

Battle of the Bears

ARCHIV - KOMBO - Ein Haribo-Gummibär "Goldbär" (r) und ein Schokoladenbär "Teddy" der Firma Lindt stehen am 18.12.2012 in Köln (Nordrhein-Westfalen) auf einem Tisch. Der BGH in Karlsruhe verkündet am 23.09.2015 sein Urteil über eine Klage von Haribo wegen des Lindt-Teddys. Der Gummibärchenhersteller sieht in der Ausgestaltung der Schokoladenfigur des Lindt-Teddys seine Markenrechte verletzt. Foto: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Lindt puts Haribo's famous bear form into chocolate.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A German court has ruled that gummy bear maker Haribo does not have the right to stop other sweet makers from making bear-shaped chocolates.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Haribo, based in Bonn, makes gummy bears, one of Germany’s most popular sweets.
    • Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli began selling foil-wrapped chocolate bears in 2011.
    • A German court has ruled that Lindt did not violated Haribo’s trademarks with its chocolate bear.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Lindt’s chocolate teddy bear may look innocent, but it ignited a legal battle lasting years between sweet makers, Lindt & Sprüngli of Switzerland, and Haribo, a maker of gummy bears ubiquitous in Germany.

Haribo is a Bonn-based company that has made bear-shaped sweets of sugar, starch and gelatin since the 1920s.

In 2012, it took Lindt to court, arguing that the Swiss company’s chocolate bear, wrapped in gold foil, was too similar to the yellow bear sweet Haribo had trade-marked as its Gold Bear. Lindt argued that the chocolate bear is a riff on its foil-wrapped Easter bunny chocolate.

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, or the BGH, ruled in favor of the Swiss company, stating that the company’s chocolate bears “neither violate the Gold Bear trademark of Haribo, or represent an unfair imitation of their fruit gummy products.”

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