Germany’s highest court has ruled that Swiss chocolatier Lindt &
Sprüngli did not violate German confectioner Haribo’s trademark “Gold
Bear” when it began selling a chocolate bear wrapped in gold foil in 2011.
Haribo has produced Gold-Bear® gummy bears for several decades,
which are sold in gold packages featuring a yellow bear wearing a red
ribbon and bow tied around its neck. Lindt’s gold-clad chocolate bear
also wears a red ribbon tied in a bow around its neck, styled after the
company’s chocolate Easter bunny products.

Haribo claimed in 2012 that consumers were likely to be confused by
Lindt’s packaging; a trial court agreed, but an intermediate appellate
court overturned the ruling. The Federal Court of Justice has affirmed
the appellate ruling, reportedly saying in a German-language statement
that it wants to avoid the danger of “product design monopolisation.”
Information about Haribo’s 2012 complaint appears in Issue 462 of this
Update. See BBC, September 23, 2015.


Issue 579

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.