Lindt scores win in German golden bunny trademark case
The golden shade of the wrapping used by Swiss chocolate maker Lindt and Sprungli for its Easter bunnies has trademark protection, a top German court ruled on Thursday.
Lindt had earlier taken a German chocolate maker, Heilemann, to court after it also started selling Easter bunnies in gold wrapping in 2018.
A regional court ruled in Heilemann’s favour, but Lindt appealed and the case went to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), Germany’s highest court of civil and criminal jurisdiction.
The Swiss firm submitted market research showing that around 70 percent of consumers associate the golden wrapping specifically with its bunnies, the BGH said in a statement.
This level of recognition “clearly exceeds the required threshold of 50 per cent” for trademark status, it argued.
A court will now reexamine the case against Heilemann.
It must decide how likely it is that consumers would confuse the Lindt bunny with other chocolate bunnies, based on their shape and other features as well as their colour.
Lindt’s gold bunny is by far the best-selling chocolate Easter bunny in Germany, with a market share of 40 percent.
It has been wrapped in gold foil since 1952 and the exact shade of the wrapping has remained unchanged since 1994.
Lindt had previously failed to secure trademark status for its Easter bunny based on other features, such as its shape and red collar.