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Swiss Court Ruling Protects Lindt’s Chocolate Bunnies

Building strong brand preference is the goal of most many marketing managers. Unfortunately, after that happens, competitors may seek to hitch their own brand to the well-known brand. That is what happened to Lindt and its popular bunnies. A seasonal (Easter) treat, the bunnies are one of Lindt’s top-selling products. Lindt is a premium Swiss chocolatier. The competitor, in this case, was the German discount retailer Lidl. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court overruled a lower court and ruled that Lidl’s chocolate bunnies (also wrapped in gold foil – see image) are protected under Swiss trademark law. You can read more about this case in this New York Times article or, if you cannot get beyond the paywall, a briefer article on Reuters.

This example might be used in class with Chapter 8, where we bring up copyright and trademark law. Students might be asked if they believe brands should have this kind of protection? Why? or Why not? The class discussion can be used to discuss motives for building brands, innovating, and new product development.

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