Lindt & Sprüngli wins latest case over Lidl golden rabbit chocolate copies
Lindt Goldhase Animalprint Leo-Tiger. (PPR/Lindt & Spruengli)
A Swiss federal court has ruled in favour of premium chocolate brand Lindt & Sprüngli in a case against supermarket Lidl – which has been ordered to destroy its ‘look-alike’ golden rabbit series, writes Neill Barston.
According to national reports, legal authorities in Lausanne have ordered the German supermarket chain – which has operations across Europe, including the UK, to cease selling its copycat version of the popular confectionery.
The Lindt Bunny has been a firm favourite within chocolate circles, and is one of the brand’s most readily identifiable symbols – with judges agreeing that the business has the right to protect its particular designs. Significantly, last year the business – which has reportedly fought long-running cases surrounding its overall design, finally scored an initial legal breakthrough last year, when German courts rule in its favour that the golden tone on its bunnies could be trademarked.
Notably, in pressing its latest case, the Swiss luxury confectionery manufacturer submitted consumer surveys which underlined that its famous bunny designs were an integral part of the brand – especially surrounding the Easter period.
The company, which has enjoyed the services as former Wimbledon champion Roger Federer as an ambassador, have expanded both its retail presence with its bunnies occupying a prominent feature in its stores, as well as with television advertising in recent years.
In its summing up of the case, the federal court said that it was ‘proportional’ to insist on the destruction of all Lidl’s stock of its own-brand rabbit chocolate, noting that the business could potentially melt down the chocolate for alternate use. However, whether this would in reality be practical or meet health and safety protocols is hard to establish.