A row has erupted between two European chocolate makers over the right to make gold-covered chocolate bunnies.

Swiss luxury chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has said it has filed for an injunction to try to stop Austrian rival Hauswirth from producing the chocolate rabbits, reported Agence France Presse.

Lindt said its trademark golden bunny was created in the 1950s and became closely associated with the company due to intense marketing. Lindt claims Hauswirth's product infringes on its international trademark, which it has had for two years.

However, Hauswirth said it started producing a gold foil-covered chocolate bunny in Austria in 1962 and said Lindt had only entered the local market ten years ago.

"Lindt realised it was possible to protect its Easter bunny and now it is trying to get rid of all other Easter bunnies," Roman Hauswirth, grandson of the founder of the Austrian company, told AFP.  

Hauswirth said his company had sold almost 12 million chocolate bunnies in Austria last year, compared with Lindt's 1.9 million. He added that Hauswirth's rabbit was targeted at children, whereas Lindt's was aimed at adults.