German sweets maker Haribo suffered a legal setback Friday when a court ruled that Swiss chocolate maker Lindt is not infringing on the patent of Haribo's "gold bear" jellies.
In a long-running dispute, the court of appeal in Cologne found that Lindt's foil-wrapped chocolate teddies could not be mistaken for Haribo's trademark jelly sweets.
"The court rejected Haribo's lawsuit. It could not find any resemblance between the written trademarks 'gold bear' and the Lindt Teddy," a court spokeswoman said.
Bonn-based Haribo had argued that the chocolate teddies, wrapped in gold foil, were a "three-dimensional representation of the words 'gold bear'."
But the court rejected Haribo's arguments, pointing out that Lindt's logo was clearly visible on the packaging and the teddies were much closer in appearance to the Swiss chocolate maker's own "gold bunnies" that are sold at Easter.
Haribo can now appeal and take the case to the Federal Court of Justice.