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Lindt and Haribo Gold Teddy row to rumble all the way to German Supreme Court

By Oliver Nieburg+

19-Dec-2012
Last updated the 19-Dec-2012 at 13:13 GMT

Lindt and Haribo’s trademark battle over golden bears in Germany will drag on until a Supreme Court decision despite yesterday’s ruling in favour of Haribo, sources told this site.

A Cologne regional court found Lindt’s Gold Teddy did indeed infringe the trademark rights of Haribo’s golden bear as both bears had red neckties, were of similar color and operated in the same segment: confectionery.

Lindt introduced ‘Gold Teddy’ in November 2011.

Today’s not the day for Teddy Bears’ picnic

However, Sylvia Kälin, corporate communications for Lindt, told ConfectioneryNews.com that appeals would be lodged to the highest level to answer whether a registered brand/word (Haribo "Goldbär") can collide with a 3D shape (the shape of the Lindt Baer or Teddy).

Haribo and Lindt agreed on bringing this case through all instances and to achieve a Supreme Court decision on this question which has never been ruled by a court before,” she said.

"The decision of the Landgericht Köln was the first instance decision (in favour of Haribo). “

“This decision and all further decisions will be appealed (by Lindt or Haribo) until Supreme Court's decision will be achieved,” she continued.

 She said that, the Lindt Teddy would be on the market without restriction until a Supreme Court ruling.

Haribo: Judgement welcome

A spokesman for Haribo told this site “We welcome the judgment of the district court and hold it for very justified.” [German translation]

He said that Haribo had conducted a survey and found that 90% of respondents linked Gold Bear with Haribo.

ConfectioneryNews.com conducted its own survey, which asked if the two products were similar, 76% have so far voted ‘no’ and 24%  ‘yes’ (based on 124 votes).

Lindt has one month to appeal the first instance court’s decision to the Regional Appeal Court Köln.