For members


Swiss court backs Lindt in chocolate bunny bust-up with Lidl supermarket

Swiss luxury chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli has won its case against the local branch of budget supermarket chain Lidl over its similar-looking Easter bunnies, according to a court decision published Thursday.

Lindt chocolate
Want to stock up on chocolate in Switzerland? It may set you back. Photo: Pixabay.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland ruled that Lindt’s chocolate bunny wrapped in aluminium foil, whether “golden or of another colour”, should benefit from trademark protection against Lidl’s rival product.

It banned the chain’s Swiss branches Lidl Schweiz and Lidl Schweiz DL from selling its similar bunnies and ordered the destruction of any still in stock.

Launched in 1952, the golden bunny with a bell on a ribbon is one of Lindt’s flagship products.

Lindt & Sprungli sued in 2018, claiming that Lidl’s bunnies had a very similar shape and appearance and could be confused with its main Easter product.

But the commercial court of Switzerland’s Aargau canton, west of Zurich, dismissed Lindt’s action in 2021.

However, Switzerland’s highest court overturned the decision, finding that Lidl’s bunnies posed “a risk of confusion even if the two products present
certain differences”.

“Given the overall impression produced, Lidl’s bunnies arouse obvious associations with the shape of Lindt’s,” the federal court said.
“In the public mind, they cannot be distinguished.”

Lindt provided consumer surveys showing that its bunny had achieved a level of general public awareness.

The Federal Supreme Court decided that 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”.

Lindt said in a statement: “This verdict is a milestone for the protection of Lindt’s golden bunny in its Swiss home market.”

Contacted by AFP, Lidl said it could not provide “any information concerning legal proceedings which are still ongoing”.

Lindt & Sprungli employs approximately 14,600 people worldwide. In 2021, its turnover amounted to nearly 4.6 billion Swiss francs.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


MP up in arms over Swiss military’s choice of wine

Switzerland’s military is facing financial woes— its coffers are short of 1 billion francs to fund new arms purchases. But according to one MP, the army has a more pressing problem right now.

MP up in arms over Swiss military’s choice of wine

On March 30th, a disturbing scene happened at the military base in Thun, in canton Bern.

At a ceremony to which soldiers’ families were invited, Italian wine was served to the guests.

This faux-pas may have remained under wraps and kept as a military secret if it weren’t for the vigilance of one member of the parliament.

But this incident was not lost on MP Yvan Pahud, who, as a member of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, is principally highly critical of any kind of international influence in Switzerland’s internal affairs — be it the country’s ties with the European Union or, in this particular case, foreign wine.

Therefore, as the National Council’s deputies debated various matters of national importance during a special session on April 15th, Pahud brought up the issue of foreign alcoholic beverages served by the army.

He argued that parents and guests who attended the event “were outraged that our Swiss army was promoting foreign wine, when  our country has its own winegrowers.”

The MPs remained neutral on this issue, and the Defence Department has yet to address this hot-button topic.

It is not known if at least some concessions to ‘Swissness’ were made at the event — that is, whether the bottles of Italian wine were uncorked with Swiss army knives.