Lidl forced to withdraw its chocolate Easter bunnies after Lindt lawsuit
The Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne has ruled that Lidl will be unable to sell its version of the chocolate Easter bunny, and must destroy all of the bunnies still on the shelves. The international company that makes the original chocolate treat - Lindt & Sprüngli - successfully argued that the two looked too similar.
Lidl unable to sell own Swiss chocolate Easter bunnies
In its ruling, reported by 20 minuten, the court found that the discount supermarket could not sell its “golden rabbit” because they look too similar to the original creations by Lindt. The chocolate bunnies are a staple in Switzerland and around the world, especially during Easter, and are famous for their appearance and red bell necklace.
However, the success of the bunny has meant that many companies like Lidl have been trying to sell their own versions, often at a cheaper price. Lindt & Sprüngli filed the lawsuit against Lidl at the end of 2018, arguing that the similar shape could confuse customers. In the text of the lawsuit, the chocolatier demanded that Lidl be banned from “advertising, offering or selling its chocolate bunnies wrapped in gold foil - or any other colour.”
Lidl ordered to destroy the remaining chocolate Easter bunnies
The decision follows a previous ruling in 2021, when the court dismissed Lindt’s claims. As part of their new appeal, the company submitted results from surveys which found that the Lidl rabbits have started to gain popularity among the public and that their shape could mislead the public.
“Due to their overall impression, the Lidl rabbits trigger obvious associations with the shape of the Lindt rabbit; in the memory of the audience they cannot be told apart," the court concluded. Now, the supermarket has been ordered to withdraw the chocolate treat from the shelves, and all the bunnies will be destroyed.