Germany – Justice grants Lindt’s golden rabbit packaging trademark status

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The German Federal Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Swiss chocolate maker on Thursday in the case between him and a German manufacturer of golden Easter bunnies.

Lindt’s Golden Bunny is the best-selling chocolate Easter bunny in Germany, with a market share of 40%. It has been wrapped in gold foil since 1952 and the exact shade of the packaging has remained unchanged since 1994.

LINDT & SPRUENGLI

The golden color of the packaging used by Swiss chocolate maker Lindt and Sprungli for its Easter bunnies enjoys trademark protection, a German court ruled on Thursday.

Lindt had sued a German chocolate maker, Heilemann, who also started selling Easter bunnies in gold packaging in 2018.

In support of its defense, Lindt presented market research showing that around 70% of consumers associate golden packaging with its chocolate bunnies.

This level of recognition “clearly exceeds the required 50% threshold” for trademark status, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) said in a statement.

A regional court had previously ruled in Heilemann’s favor, and an appeals court will now reconsider the case.

Can the rabbit be mistaken for another?

Lindt’s Golden Bunny is by far the best-selling chocolate Easter bunny in Germany, with a market share of 40%. It has been wrapped in gold foil since 1952 and the exact shade of the packaging has remained unchanged since 1994.

Lindt had previously failed to secure trademark protected status for her Easter Bunny based on other characteristics, such as its shape and red ribbon.

The Court of Appeal must now decide whether it is possible for consumers to confuse the Lindt bunny with other chocolate bunnies, based on their shape and other characteristics like their color.

(AFP)

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