Haribo Loses Gummy Bear Lawsuit Against Lindt Chocolate
A long-running legal battle between candy companies Haribo and Lindt, in which the gummy giant accused the chocolatier of basing its gold foil-wrapped chocolate bears on Haribo’s Gold-Bears Gummi candy, has finally been settled in Lindt’s favor by Germany’s Federal Court of Justice.
Haribo, a German company, first took the Swiss chocolate maker to court in 2012, after the introduction of Lindt Teddy chocolates during the 2011 Christmas season.
Initially, a lower German court ruled in Haribo’s favor, but the decision was subsequently thrown out by a court of appeals, which argued that the chocolate bears could not be mistaken for Haribo’s gummy candies. The case was subsequently brought to the Federal Court, Germany’s highest court of civil and criminal law, for a final decision, which favored Lindt.
“Lindt's sale of bear-shaped chocolates wrapped in a golden foil with a red ribbon is neither a violation of Haribo's ‘Gold Bear’ trademark nor an illegal imitation of the fruit gum products,” the court ruled.
In a statement, Lindt said that it was pleased to be able to “continue to delight all Lindt chocolate lovers with the Lindt Teddy.”