Lindt Goldhase Animalprint Lion-Tiger. (PPR/Lindt & Spruengli)
A Swiss federal court has ruled in favor of premium chocolate brand Lindt & Sprüngli in a case against supermarket Lidl – which was ordered to destroy its series of ‘look-alike’ golden bunnies, writes Neill Barston.
According to national reports, judicial authorities in Lausanne have ordered the German supermarket chain – which operates across Europe, including the UK – to stop selling its copycat version of the popular confectionery.
The Lindt bunny has been a favorite in chocolate circles and is one of the brand’s most easily identifiable symbols – with judges agreeing the company has every right to protect its particular designs. Significantly, last year the company – which is said to have been fighting longstanding cases over its overall design – finally scored its first legal breakthrough last year, when German courts ruled in its favor that the tone golden of his rabbits could be a registered trademark.
Notably, as part of its latest case, the Swiss luxury confectionery maker submitted consumer surveys that highlighted its famous bunny designs as an integral part of the brand, particularly around the Easter period.
The company, which has benefited from the services of former Wimbledon champion Roger Federer as an ambassador, has expanded both its retail presence with its rabbits prominently featured in its stores, as well as television advertising in recent years. years.
In its summary of the case, the federal court said it was “proportionate” to insist on destroying all of Lidl’s stock of its own brand of rabbit chocolate, noting that the company could potentially melt chocolate for another use. However, it is unclear whether this would actually be practical or adhere to health and safety protocols.