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The Margin: Lidl must destroy its copycat Lindt chocolate bunnies, Swiss court rules


There can be only one chocolate bunny wrapped in gold foil, wearing a bow and a bell in Switzerland — and that’s the Lindt version. 

So says a Swiss federal court’s ruling this week in favor of luxury chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli
which had sued German discount retailer Lidl for copying its Easter treats.

Lindt accused Lidl of copying its chocolate bunny and confusing customers. The Lindt version is wrapped in gold foil with a red bow and bell, while Lidl’s confectionary rabbit wrapped in gold foil wears a green bow and bell.

So the highest court in Switzerland ruled that Lindt’s version deserves copyright protection, and agreed that Lidl was biting off Lindt’s style. “Given the overall impression produced, Lidl’s bunnies arouse obvious associations with the shape of Lindt’s,” the court ruled.

This federal court ruling in Lindt’s favor reversed a lower commercial court ruling from 2021 which had sided with Lidl, according to Sky News.

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Lidl has been ordered by the court to stop selling its chocolate bunnies, and to dispose of any that have already been produced — although the court noted that the chocolate could also be melted down and used to create something else.

“Destruction is proportionate, especially as it does not necessarily mean that the chocolate as such would have to be destroyed,” it said in a summary of its verdict.

Lindt has been involved in several other product trademark lawsuits with rival candy makers over the years, including a legal battle with Haribo over gold bears.

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