The chocolate bunny wars

Lindt and Sprüngli has been trying to stop companies from copying its signature chocolate bunny for years.

Swiss chocolatier Lindt and Sprüngli has been fighting in court for years over a quintessential Easter treat: the chocolate bunny.

The chocolate bunny wars

Lindt’s been making its “Gold Bunny” — a seated bunny, wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon and bell around its neck — since 1952.

Today, it produces 160m+ bunnies annually.

Last week…

… the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland decided that German discount chain Lidl must stop selling its bunnies in Switzerland because:

  • Lindt’s are protected by Swiss trademark law.
  • The two were similar enough that the public could confuse them.

Lidl was also ordered to destroy any remaining bunnies, but Lidl said it doesn’t have any because they’re seasonal, per The New York Times.

But that’s only one battle in the bunny wars

Lindt has repeatedly gone after other companies producing similar products, including Austria’s Hauswirth and Germany’s Heilemann. Also:

  • In 2001, Lindt achieved trademark approval on its bunny’s shape, per Fortune.
  • In 2021, a German court ruled Lindt’s gold foil had trademark protection after Lindt cited a survey that found 70% of respondents associated it with its bunny.

Some bunnies — like these standing, tuxedo-wearing ones you may remember from childhood — are likely safe (for now).

BTW: This video shows how the Gold Bunny is made. It’s narrated by the bunny, which is hilariously weird.

Topics: Food Legal Issues

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