This Week in Dumb IP Claims

Normally the beat of my Tech Dirt homes, this one struck me because I’m a sucker for Gummy Bears.

Lindt wins legal battle after court rules Haribo claim does not bear up

by Sean Farrell, The Guardian

Wednesday 23 September 2015 12.21 EDT

The decision ended a dispute between the companies that started in 2012 when Haribo accused Lindt & Sprüngli of copying its Gold Bear trademark by launching a foil-wrapped teddy.

Haribo, which invented gummy bears in the 1920s, said shoppers would confuse the two products, even though Lindt’s bears are made of chocolate and gummy bears are a jelly sweet.

Lindt argued that its bears were a variation on its Easter rabbit chocolates. Both are wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon. Haribo’s gummy bear marketing is fronted by a yellow cartoon bear with a red ribbon round its neck.

Last week the European court of justice failed to uphold Nestlé’s attempt to protect its four-fingered KitKat in another long-running dispute between the Swiss company and Cadbury. Cadbury tried to thwart Nestlé’s attempt to trademark KitKat in 2010 after Nestlé blocked Cadbury’s effort to trademark the shade of purple used for its chocolate wrappers.

Georgie Collins, a partner at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The confectionery industry is extremely competitive so it’s not surprising that you often see these rivals coming up against each other.

“The cost of these cases is significant, but it’s about being seen to take action and ringfencing your brand and intellectual property rights as much as you can.”

Why this is at once hilarious and very, very wrong is a little too involved to go into right now, but you should really read Tech Dirt.  And now, a recipe to make Gummy Bears at home-

Take one 3 oz. box of any flavored jello and add sugar according to directions if required (not usually).  Add 7 packs of unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup of water.  Heat over low in a pan until everything is completely dissolved.  Pour into molds (available at most cooking stores) and chill in freezer for 5 minutes, then refrigerate until very firm.  If you coat the molds with a little flavorless cooking oil spray (canola works) you can remove them easier.  Let them continue to dry unrefrigerated until they have the chewiness you like.

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