Lindt loses German case over Easter bunny trademark

Thursday 28 March 2013 12.18
Lindt & Spruengli loses court battle to protect its gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies from imitation
Lindt & Spruengli loses court battle to protect its gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies from imitation

Swiss premium chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has lost a court battle to protect its gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies from imitation by a German rival.

Lindt traces its origins to a Zurich confectionery shop set up in the 1840s.

It has been fighting German chocolate maker Confiserie Riegelein since 2000 to try to stop it producing similar chocolate bunnies.

But Germany's Federal Court of Justice rejected a final appeal by Lindt & Spruengli today.

"We are very glad that this case has found a happy ending for us after some 12 years," Peter Riegelein, head of the family-owned German business, said in a statement.

"The sitting gold-wrapped bunny has been a firm part of our offering for at least a half century," he said. "Now it is finally clear that it can stay as it is."

Lindt is disappointed but will continue to defend its strong brand, a spokeswoman said.

Last year, the European Union Court of Justice upheld a decision of the EU trademarks agency OHIM, which rejected Lindt's application for a trademark of its sitting bunny shapes wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon bow tie.

Earlier last year, however, an Austrian court ruled that family-owned rival Hauswirth could no longer produce Easter bunnies that look like those made by Lindt.