Gummy Bear Battle: German Company Wins Trademark Violation Lawsuit

Berlin, Germany – A gummy bear manufacturer has won a legal battle over what it felt was a trademark violation by a Swiss candy company, according to The Associated Press.

Haribo GmbH previously claimed that Lindt’s gold foil-wrapped chocolate teddy bear was a violation of its “Gold Bear” gummy bear. Although the offending product was referred to as the “Lindt Teddy,” Haribo said people would see the packaging and immediately think of it as “Gold Bear.”

Although Lindt said it wasn’t attempting to infringe on its competitor’s trademark with the product, judges ruled the chocolate bear’s packaging was essentially a “visual presentation” of Hairbo’s golden gummy bear.

According to Expatica, the Swiss company explained to the courts that the products were not similar in any way, shape, or form. In fact, Lindt said it went out of its way to avoid trampling into gold gummy bear territory. The company stated there was no way consumers would confuse the products when sitting side by side on retail shelves.

However, judges weren’t convinced this was the case.

“Most consumers would not use descriptions such as ‘golden bear figure’, ‘gold foil-wrapped bear’ or ‘gold-coloured chocolate teddy bear’ … but rather the closest description, particularly considering how well-known the other brand is: Gold Bear,” the court said in a statement.

It added, “What is special about the case is that there has been no high court ruling on the issue of a collision between a brand name and a three-dimensional product design.”

Investor Place explains that Lindt has been banned from selling its chocolate teddy bears to the masses. Not surprisingly, the company said it intends to appeal the court’s ruling on the matter.

What do you think about this gummy bear battle? Do you think Lindt’s gold foil-wrapped chocolate teddy bears are too similar to Hairbo’s iconic product?