After several years in court, the case of German candy producer Haribo against the Swiss Lindt group has been dismissed. Haribo felt its gummy bear candy was being copied, but the highest German court disagreed.
3-year court battle
"The sale of chocolate bears in a golden wrapper and red ribbon does not breach Haribo's Goldbären's brand, nor is it an unlawful imitation of the gummy bears", said the German court (known as Bundesgerichtshof). In the fall of 2012, Lindt launched the Lindt Teddy, which immediately prompted Haribo to file a complaint as the latter felt the two figures resembled each other too much and would cause customer confusion.
At first, the court in Cologne agreed, but the court of appeal's judge felt the resemblance was not sufficient for the complaint to be upheld. In the end, Germany's federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof, had to make a decision and it has now ruled against Haribo, which means that Lindt can continue to sell its chocolate bears.