Gummy bears

St. Maarten – the Dutch trick-or-treat festival – is barely over. A lot of sugar-crazy kids have stocked up on their sweets. But did they get the right ‘gummy bear’? Possibly they were confused. A pending matter between Haribo and Lindt should put an end to this.

Candy manufacturer Haribo and chocolate company Lindt are in the midst of a legal battle concerning sweets in the form of golden bears. Haribo has been making multi-colored gummy bears since 1967. They even trademarked the name “Gold-Bears” in 1975.

Lindt, famous for their chocolate, recently made its way into the gummy bear market. An market with potential, as it seems. This month Lindt started selling small chocolate bears wrapped in golden tin foil, branded “Teddy.” According to Haribo using the form of a golden bear violates the company’s trademark.

Lindt states it intentionally avoided any likelihood of confusion with Haribo, by calling its product “Gold Teddy”.

It is an interesting question whether the shape of a (famous) piece of candy can be or become a trademark. Even when this form a a common form, as the shape of a bear is. MarkMatters.com believes that a shape like that can be trademarked. Whether this also means they can stop any other bear-shaped candy or confectionary, remains to be seen.

The court ruling is due mid-December. ‘Bear’ with us…

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