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December 20, 2010

EU: Lindt cannot trademark bunny, say European judges

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli cannot trademark the shape and golden wrapping (with associated bell and ribbon) of its signature rabbit and reindeer chocolates.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli cannot trademark the shape and golden wrapping (with associated bell and ribbon) of its signature rabbit and reindeer chocolates.

Lindt wanted these to become EU trademarks, possibly impeding other EU manufacturers from making rabbit and reindeer-shaped chocolates.

However, because Easter bunnies and Christmas reindeers are common chocolate designs, the ECJ has ruled them too generic and to be trademarked this way.

The ECJ said the products were “typical shapes in which chocolate and chocolate goods are presented at certain times of the year”.

Judges, meanwhile, also rejected a bid by Germany’s August Storck to trademark its chocolate mouse design.

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