Gummy Bear Company Wins Lawsuit against Lindt

January 29, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. trademark [TREYD-mahrk] (n.) – a symbol that represents one’s legal ownership over something
Example: The image of a bitten apple is the trademark of a famous PC and mobile phone company.

2. rebut [ri-BUHT] (v.) – to oppose by providing evidence against a previous claim
Example: The lawyer rebutted the complaints against his client.

3. infringe [in-FRINJ] (v.) – to violate an agreement, often used to refer to the violation of ownership rights
Example: Apple claimed that Samsung infringed on Apple’s design rights.

4. not in (somebody's) favor [not] [in] [suhm-bod-ee s, -buhd-ee s, -buh-dee s] [fey-ver] (idiom.) – not for the benefit of someone or to someone’s disadvantage
Example: The tax increase is not in favor with many companies.

5. forbidden [fer-bid-n, fawr-] (adj.) – not allowed; banned
Example: Companies are forbidden to steal other company’s product ideas.

Read the text below.

Haribo GmbH, a German company which makes gummy bears, has won a trademark lawsuit against Lindt, a Swiss chocolate company.

The gummy bear company complained that 'Lindt Teddy,' Lindt’s teddy bear-shaped chocolate, reminds people of Haribo GmbH’s golden gummy bear because of the product’s gold packaging.

However, Lindt rebutted the claim saying the ‘Lindt Teddy’ does not infringe Haribo's trademark. The company further explained that it did extreme measures just to avoid violating the Gold Bear’s trademark. The Swiss chocolate company added that if Lindt Teddy and Haribo Golden Gummy Bear were placed together in grocery shelves, buyers would not mistake one from the other.

Despite Lindt’s claims, the court’s decision was not in Lindt’s favor. In a court statement, the judges discussed that buyers would most likely call ‘Lindt Teddy’ as 'Gold Bear,' the name of Haribo's product, instead of 'golden bear figure,' 'gold foil-wrapped bear' or 'gold-colored chocolate bear'.

According to Investor Place, Lindt is now forbidden from releasing ‘Lindt Teddy’ to customers. However, Lindt is still planning to appeal to the court’s decision.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do the name and appearance of products influence you to buy a product?
·         What other factors do you consider when buying products?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that originality, especially in business, is important? Why or why not?
·         What would you do if somebody steals your ideas (e.g. project or product concepts)?


January 29, 2013