Just in time for Easter, we have yet another development in the apparently never ending Easter Bunny dispute between Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli and its Austrian competitor Hauswirth (see our earlier reports here).
Our readers may recall that both chocolate manufacturers offer chocolate Easter bunnies wrapped in gold foil. A court in Vienna, the Wiener Handelsgericht, last week decided in favour of Lindt (see Lindt's bunny to the left) with the consequence that Hauswirth (see Hauswirth's bunny wearing a ribbon in the Austrian national colours to the right) is no longer allowed to sell chocolate bunnies that are confusingly similar to to Lindt’s bunnies. Unsurprisingly Hauswirth has already announced that it will appeal the decision.
A similar bunny dispute, this time between Lindt & Sprüngli and its German competitor Riegelein, also still keeps the German courts busy. The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt did not see a likelihood of confusion between Riegelein’s and Lindt’s bunnies and has already twice decided in Riegelein’s favour (see Riegelein's bunny with a darker ribbon to the lower right). However, the Bundesgerichtshof (see our report here) reversed both decisions and the Frankfurt court will now yet again have to decide on the similarity between Lindt’s and Riegelein’s bunnies. The Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper expects the next hearing in the German case to be held in autumn 2011.
To be continued….