Bunny boilers: Lidl ordered to melt down its chocolate rabbits following court case

Bunny boilers: Lidl ordered to melt down its chocolate rabbits following court case
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Thousands of Lidl chocolate bunnies will be melted after premium chocolate maker Lindt said they looked too similar to their iconic Easter treat.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland said that regardless of whether Lidl's packaging was "golden or of another colour, " they had too much resemblance.

The ruling banned the supermarket from selling the bunnies and ordered them to be incarcerated.

Lindt has fought many court battles over the last years to protect one of its best-selling products from being copied. They sued Lidl in 2018, with claims they had a very similar appearance that could easily get confused with theirs. However, Switzerland's commercial court later dismissed Lindt's actions in 2021.

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The country's highest court has overturned the decision, saying Lidl's chocolate bunnies pose "a risk of confusion even if the two products present certain differences."

"Given the overall impression produced, Lidl's bunnies arouse obvious associations with the shape of Lindt's," the federal court said.

"In the public mind, they cannot be distinguished."

They decided that it "can be considered common knowledge that the shapes that Lindt & Sprungli has had protected by trademark law are associated by a very large part of the public with the Lindt & Sprungli company".

"Destruction is proportionate, especially as it does not necessarily mean that the chocolate as such would have to be destroyed," it said in a verdict summary.

This isn't the first time two brands have gone head to head over their beloved product.

Colin and Cuthbert the Caterpillar cakes were the focus of a legal battle between Marks and Spencer's and Aldi. They finally reached a settlement in 2022.

An M&S spokesman said: "The objective of the claim was to protect the IP (intellectual property) in our Colin the Caterpillar cake, and we are very pleased with the outcome."

An Aldi spokesperson said: "Cuthbert is free and looking forward to seeing all his fans again very soon."

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