Gold Bunny Dispute - just in time for Christmas

Just in time for Christmas - another chapter in the never ending Gold Bunny dispute saga. This time again from Austria: Lindt vs. Hauswirth. Our readers may recall the ECJ's judgment in C‑529/07 Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG v Franz Hauswirth GmbH, also known as the "Easter bunnies' case", which was a reference for a preliminary ruling from Austria on the question of how to establish bad faith in trade mark invalidity proceedings (see the earlier IPKat reports here).

Several Austrian, German and Swiss sources now report that Austrian chocolate maker Hauswirth has to stop producing and distributing its golden Easter bunnies (see left) within the EU after a recent decision by the Higher Regional Court of Vienna.

This particular dispute has kept Austrian courts busy since 2004. In March this year the Commercial Court of Vienna (Wiener Handelsgericht) had decided that Hauswirth was no longer allowed to sell chocolate bunnies that are confusingly similar to Lindt’s bunnies (see to the right), a decision which Hauswirth intended to appeal. The Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien) has now decided not to allow this appeal and confirmed the Handelsgericht's earlier decision of March 2011 holding that there is a likelihood of confusion between both types bunnies. Even though no leave for an ordinary appeal was granted, according to some news reports, Hauswirth can still try and appeal this matter to the Austrian Supreme Court(OGH).

Merpel muses that if they can appeal, they almost certainly will...
Gold Bunny Dispute - just in time for Christmas Gold Bunny Dispute - just in time for Christmas Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

Confusingly similar?

Anonymous said...

Reindeer and rabbit? Let's hope Santa doesn't make this mistake or there will be the pitter patter of many new tiny feet on the rooftops this Christmas.

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