Easter bunny goes to the European Court of Justice

28th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

28 November 2007, Vienna (dpa) - Austrian chocolate Easter bunny producer Hauswirth is hoping for a Christmas miracle from the European Court of Justice. The small Austrian chocolate maker has been embroiled in a trademark court battle with Swiss chocolate giant Lindt & Spruengli over its gold-foil Easter bunny since 2004. Austria's supreme court now referred the case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which could delay a decision on whether Hauswirth will be allowed to sell its bunny unti

28 November 2007

Vienna (dpa) - Austrian chocolate Easter bunny producer Hauswirth is hoping for a Christmas miracle from the European Court of Justice.

The small Austrian chocolate maker has been embroiled in a trademark court battle with Swiss chocolate giant Lindt & Spruengli over its gold-foil Easter bunny since 2004.

Austria's supreme court now referred the case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which could delay a decision on whether Hauswirth will be allowed to sell its bunny until at least 2009, the chocolate maker said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Austrian case would rest until the decision of the European judges, Lindt said in a press release.

In 2004, Lindt won a court injunction banning the sale of the Austrian-made chocolate bunny covered in gold tinfoil, claiming it could be confused with its own product that was protected by trademark regulations.

Hauswirth argued that its bunny had been produced since the 1950s, while Lindt had been selling its own, much less mature bunny in Austria only since 1995 and was using its dominant market position to intimidate smaller producers.

The bunny battle has been raging since then, back and forth through all Austrian courts.

The 2008 Easter bunny generation would not be affected by the court decision, said Hauswirth, which is already heavily involved in planning next year's Christmas collection.

Lindt only recently lost a similar case against German chocolate bunny producer Riegelein. A court in Frankfurt, Germany, ruled the German bunny could be sold alongside its Swiss competitor.

DPA

Subject: German news, Europe

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