Gold Bear wars reloaded....

For fans of the various Gold Bunny trade mark disputes, this Kat can report on a similarly addictive dispute relating to Gold Bears of the foiled and gummy bear varieties.

Upholding a claim brought by confectionery manufacturer Haribo, the Regional Court of Cologne in December 2012 (Regional Court of Cologne (Landgericht Köln), 33O 803/11) decided that sweet maker Lindt's three-dimensional gold-foiled chocolate bears amounted to an infringing ‘visual representation’ of Haribo's well-known GOLDBÄREN (in English Gold Bear) gummy bear word marks.  While the court had acknowledged that Lindt did not use the word sign GOLDBÄREN , it held that the sight of the shape of Lindt's three-dimensional chocolate bears inevitably produced connotations with Haribo's bears, which could result in a dilution of Haribo's trade mark rights.   The Regional Court expressly noted the significance of the legal issues raised since there had so far been no decision by the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) on the question of a conflict between a word mark and a three-dimensional product design.
German media now reports that, following the appeal proceedings in this dispute, the Higher Regional Court has apparently disagreed with the Regional Court and does not regard Lindt's chocolate bears as infringing.  The court will release its decision on 11 April 2014.  According to German newspaper FAZ, both sweet makers are determined to appeal this matter all the way to the Bundesgerichtshof in order to achieve legal certainty. 
This will be an interesting case to watch. May we even see a referral to the CJEU?
Gold Bear wars reloaded.... Gold Bear wars reloaded.... Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Haribo sugarfree gummy bears have something of a reputation on the internet, see for example


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.