They’ re melting the Easter bunny at Lidl. The supermarket chain is no longer allowed to sell golden chocolate Easter bunnies because they look too much like Lindt & Sprüngli‘s luxury chocolate.
Years of legal battle
The chocolate Easter bunnies sold by Lidl at Easter in a golden wrapper are no longer allowed. According to premium chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli, the sweets are too similar to their product and after several attempts, the highest Swiss court now rules in their favour. Lidl may no longer sell the chocolate bunnies and must destroy its entire remaining stock. Although the Lausanne court does hint that the chocolate itself can still be used, by melting it over, for example.
The ruling was preceded by a long legal battle, as a Swiss commercial court last year ruled against plaintiff Lindt. However, the Swiss chocolatier has now convincingly demonstrated that the golden rabbit is widely recognised by the public and that people can confuse the two products, despite some differences, The Guardian reports.
For Lindt & Sprüngli, the chocolate bunnies are among its best-selling products, so the brand has taken to court several times in recent years to sue for counterfeiting. The bunnies wrapped in gold foil and with a bell around the neck even led to a court case before the European Court of Justice. In fact, Lindt had obtained a patent for the specific 3D shape in 2001, but competitor Hauswirth – which also made gold-wrapped bunnies with a ribbon around the neck – felt that a chocolate bunny could not be trademarked. Yet it could, it turned out, and in 2021 the German Federal Court even granted trademark protection to the gold wrapper.