The Lindt teddy saw off a legal challenge from gummy bear maker Haribo today.

A German court dismissed a claim that the gold-clad, red-bowed chocolate bears violated a trademark held by the rival confectionary maker. 

Germany's Federal Court of Justice dismissed a claim that the Lindt teddy was in violation of Haribo's "Gold Bear" logo, colourfully depicted on packaging with images of a golden bear wearing a red ribbon. 

The ruling means Switzerland's Lindt & Spruengli can continue to sell the chocolate bears that it introduced in 2011. 

Rather than copying Haribo's Gold Bear, Lindt said its chocolate teddies drew on the styling of the golden bunnies which are among the company's best-known products. 

The chocolate maker heavily promotes the bunnies, even setting up life-sized golden bunny statues outside its factory by Lake Zurich and shuttling around gold-painted, red-striped Smart cars decorated with golden ears around Easter time. 

The German court said that terms such as "teddy", "chocolate bear" or "chocolate teddy" could be applied to the product just as well as "gold bear." 

"It's not sufficient that the trade marked word is just one of several obvious names to describe the product form," the court said in a statement. 

For the claim to be granted without meeting stricter criteria would open up the danger of "product design monopolisation" in the arena of three-dimensional product forms, it said in a release. 

The decision marks the second courtroom rejection this month of a company's efforts to limit competitors' use of three-dimensional product forms. 

The European Court of Justice last week rejected Nestle's request to trademark the shape of its four-fingered KitKar bar in Britain.