It’s a decision that comes after years of legal battle. At the end of September, the ax finally fell for Lidl regarding its chocolate Easter bunnies. The chain of stores will no longer be authorized to market them since these, by their golden packaging, looked too much like chocolates from Lindt & Sprüngli.
It is the highest Swiss court, as Retail Detail reports, which ruled in favor of the high-end chocolate manufacturer in its fight against the hard discount brand. And the sentence is hard for Lidl which can no longer sell its rabbits but must also destroy its remaining stocks! The sign could still melt the chocolate to reuse it.
“In the mind of the public they cannot be distinguished”
In its decision made public last Thursday, the Federal Court ruled that Lindt & Sprüngli’s chocolate rabbit wrapped in aluminum foil, “golden or of another color” should benefit from trademark protection against the competing product. from Lidl.
He banned the Swiss branch of the supermarket chain, called Lidl Schweiz AG and Lidl Schweiz DL AG, from selling his very similar-looking rabbit in its stores and ordered the destruction of any copies still in stock.
In 2018, the Swiss group Lindt & Sprüngli sued the Swiss branch of Lidl, claiming that the low-cost supermarket chain’s rabbit had a very similar shape and appearance and could be confused with its flagship holiday product. Easter. But the Commercial Court had rejected his request.
The Federal Court, the highest court in Switzerland, overturned this judgment, considering that the chocolate bunnies presented “a risk of confusion even if the two products present certain differences”.
“Given the overall impression produced, the rabbits of Lidl arouse obvious associations with the shape of the rabbit of Lindt”, argued the Federal Court.
“In the mind of the public they cannot be distinguished,” he added.
Lindt and Sprüngli had provided supporting consumer surveys showing that its rabbit had achieved general public awareness.
The Federal Supreme Court ruled that it “can be considered well known that the shapes that Lindt & Sprüngli has had protected by trademark law are associated by a very large part of the public with the Lindt & Sprüngli company”.
Contacted by AFP, the Swiss branch of Lidl supermarkets said it could not provide “any information concerning legal proceedings still in progress”.