Lindt loses German case over Easter bunny trademark - Information portal

Lindt loses German case over Easter bunny trademark

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29.03.2013 Количество просмотров 650 views
заяц.jpgSwiss premium chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has lost a court battle to protect its gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies from imitation by a German rival. Lindt, which traces its origins to a Zurich confectionery shop set up in the 1840s, has been fighting German chocolate maker Confiserie Riegelein since 2000 to try to stop it producing similar chocolate bunnies.
But Germany’s Federal Court of Justice rejected a final appeal by Lindt & Spruengli yesterday.
“We are very glad that this case has found a happy ending for us after some 12 years,” Peter Riegelein, head of the family-owned German business, said in a statement. “The sitting gold-wrapped bunny has been a firm part of our offering for at least a half century,” he said. “Now it is finally clear that it can stay as it is.”
Lindt will respect the decision even though it does not share the court’s judicial interpretation, a spokeswoman said. “Lindt & Spruengli invests substantial amounts into advertising and promotion to further increase the degree of brand awareness,” she said. “We will continue to defend our Lindt gold bunny in the future whenever necessary.”
Last year, the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) upheld a decision of the EU trademarks agency OHIM, which rejected Lindt’s application for a trademark of its sitting bunny shapes wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon bow tie.
Earlier last year, however, an Austrian court ruled that family-owned rival Hauswirth could no longer produce Easter bunnies that look like those made by Lindt. Earlier this month the Swiss firm reported 2012 profit that missed analysts’ estimates as most chocolate markets stagnated. Net income rose 12 per cent to 271.9 million francs in 2012.
Lindt said at the time that it expects a “difficult economic environment” in 2013 as rising unemployment weighs on consumer spending, especially in southern Europe, though the company is “well- placed to face the coming challenges.”
Source:  Bloomberg


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