Judge orders chocolate maker to destroy its chocolate bunnies

Lindt & Spruengli’s foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies deserve protection from copycat products, Switzerland’s highest court ruled on Thursday, and ordered German discounter Lidl to stop selling a similar product in Switzerland and to destroy its stock. (Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters)

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ZURICH – Lindt & Spruengli’s foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies deserve protection from copycat products, Switzerland’s highest court ruled on Thursday, and ordered German discounter Lidl to stop selling a product similar in Switzerland and to destroy its remaining stock.

Investigations submitted by Lindt showed Lindt’s Easter Bunny was well known to the public, the Federal Court said, adding that the two products were likely to be confused even though there were some differences between them.

He last year overturned a Swiss commercial court ruling against Lindt and in favor of two Swiss units of Lidl and ordered Lidl to destroy its inventory of chocolate bunnies.

“The destruction is proportionate, especially since it does not necessarily mean that the chocolate as such should be destroyed,” he said in a summary of his verdict.

High-end Swiss chocolatier Lindt has fought numerous legal battles over the years to protect one of its best-selling products.

Germany’s federal court ruled last year that the gold tone of its foil-wrapped Easter bunny enjoyed trademark protection.

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