Swiss court orders Lidl to melt all of its chocolate bunnies after ruling they were ‘too similar’ to Lindt
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Thousands of Lidl chocolate bunnies will have to be melted, following a court ruling.
Luxury Swiss sweet brand Lindt had taken the German discount retailer to court over allegations the chocolates were too similar to their own version.
The case was held at The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, which ruled the Lidl bunnies bear an uncanny resemblance.
In the ruling, it was noted that whether or not the aluminium foil used on the product was “golden or another colour” it would still be too familiar.
As a result of the decision, it has banned the chain’s Swiss branches Lidl Schweiz and Lidl Schweiz DL from selling the product.
The ruling also forces the supermarket to destroy all remaining stock of its chocolate bunnies, which is estimated to be in its thousands.
Please note that the treats will still be available from Lidl stores in Great Britain.
Lindt & Sprungli first sued Lidl in 2018 over issues related to the sale of its chocolate bunny product, citing a similar shape and appearance could confuse customers with its flagship Easter-time treat.
But the action was dismissed by Switzerland’s commercial court in 2021 - a decision that has now been overturned by the country’s highest court.
“Given the overall impression produced, Lidl’s bunnies arouse obvious associations with the shape of Lindt’s,” said The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland in a statement.
“In the public mind they can not be distinguished. It can be considered common knowledge that the shapes that Lindt & Sprungli has had protected by trademark law are associated by a very large part of the public with the Lindt & Sprungli company.”
This follows disputes between Marks and Spencers and Aldi over similarities between the Colin the Caterpillar and Cuthbert the Caterpillar products earlier this year.