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Lindt and Haribo Gold Teddy row to rumble all the way to German Supreme Court


By Oliver Nieburg+

Last updated on 19-Dec-2012 at 13:13 GMT2012-12-19T13:13:29Z

Are these bears too similar? The German Supreme Court is set to decide

Are these bears too similar? The German Supreme Court is set to decide

Lindt and Haribo’s trademark battle over golden bears in Germany will drag on until a Supreme Court decision despite yesterday’s ruling in favour of Haribo, sources told this site.

A Cologne regional court found Lindt’s Gold Teddy did indeed infringe the trademark rights of Haribo’s golden bear as both bears had red neckties, were of similar color and operated in the same segment: confectionery.

Lindt introduced ‘Gold Teddy’ in November 2011.

Today’s not the day for Teddy Bears’ picnic

However, Sylvia Kälin, corporate communications for Lindt, told that appeals would be lodged to the highest level to answer whether a registered brand/word (Haribo "Goldbär") can collide with a 3D shape (the shape of the Lindt Baer or Teddy).

Haribo and Lindt agreed on bringing this case through all instances and to achieve a Supreme Court decision on this question which has never been ruled by a court before,” she said.

"The decision of the Landgericht Köln was the first instance decision (in favour of Haribo). “

“This decision and all further decisions will be appealed (by Lindt or Haribo) until Supreme Court's decision will be achieved,” she continued.

 She said that, the Lindt Teddy would be on the market without restriction until a Supreme Court ruling.

Haribo: Judgement welcome

A spokesman for Haribo told this site “We welcome the judgment of the district court and hold it for very justified.” [German translation]

He said that Haribo had conducted a survey and found that 90% of respondents linked Gold Bear with Haribo. conducted its own survey, which asked if the two products were similar, 76% have so far voted ‘no’ and 24%  ‘yes’ (based on 124 votes).

Lindt has one month to appeal the first instance court’s decision to the Regional Appeal Court Köln.

2 comments (Comments are now closed)


I agree with Oliver. It's pretty unlikely that someone wanting to eat chocolate is going to buy gummy bears. Or that someone wanting to eat gummy bears is going to buy chocolate.

But I don't think this is what the battle is about. From a different perspective, these giants are probably just showing other competing confectionary comapnies that they are absolutely prepared to defend their intellectual property, they can't be seen to roll over easily on that point.

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Posted by Ingrid Sky
20 December 2012 | 23h552012-12-20T23:55:42Z

What a lot of...

How much time, effort and money is spent on this utterly meanless battle? How much chocloate is in Haribo's products, how many fruit gums in whichever shape does Lindt sell? What is the perception of Haribo about their customers? Brainless sheep? The company should feel flattered, if they think Lindt copied them, but not spend money on a completely senseless court case. Money that is eventually part of the cost calculation of their products.

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Posted by Oliver Schulz
19 December 2012 | 18h002012-12-19T18:00:28Z

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