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LIVING IN GERMANY

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt hops towards victory in German golden bunny trademark case

The golden shade of the wrapping used by Swiss chocolate maker Lindt and Sprungli for its Easter bunnies has trademark protection, a top German court has ruled.

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt hops towards victory in German golden bunny trademark case
The iconic Lindt chocolate golden bunny or Goldhase. Photo: picture alliance / Amelie Sachs/dpa | Amelie Sachs

Lindt had earlier taken a German chocolate maker, Heilemann, to court after it also started selling Easter bunnies in gold wrapping in 2018.

A regional court hard earlier ruled in Heilemann’s favour, but Lindt appealed and the case went to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), Germany’s highest court of civil and criminal jurisdiction.

The Swiss firm submitted market research showing that around 70 percent of consumers associate the golden wrapping specifically with its bunnies, the BGH said in a statement.

This level of recognition “clearly exceeds the required threshold of 50 per cent” for trademark status, it argued. The latest ruling was on Thursday. 

A court will now reexamine the case against Heilemann.

It must decide how likely it is that consumers would confuse the Lindt bunny with other chocolate bunnies, based on their shape and other features as well as their colour.

Lindt’s gold bunny or Goldhase is by far the best-selling chocolate Easter bunny in Germany, with a market share of 40 percent. It’s sold in more than 60 countries all over the world. 

It has been wrapped in gold foil since 1952 and the exact shade of the wrapping has remained unchanged since 1994.

Lindt had previously failed to secure trademark status for its Easter bunny based on other features, such as its shape and red collar.

The chocolate giant has also challenged other confectioners from selling bunnies wrapped in golden foil. 

READ ALSO: Lindt loses bunny battle

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LEARNING FRENCH

How to talk email, websites, social media and phone numbers in Swiss French

It's a very common experience to have to give out your phone number or email address in Switzerland, or take down the address of a website, so here's how to do this if you're in the French-speaking part of the country.

How to talk email, websites, social media and phone numbers in Swiss French

The correct names for punctuation marks used to be fairly low down on any French-learner’s list, but these days they are vital whenever you need to explain an email address, website or social media account.

Likewise if you want to talk about websites, or social media posts, there are some things that you need to know. 

Punctuation

Obviously punctuation points have their own names, and making sure you get the periods, dashes and underscores correct is vital to giving out account details. 

Full stop/period . point. Pronounced pwan, this is most commonly heard for Swiss websites or email addresses which end in. ch (pronounced pwan ce ash).

If you have a site that ends in .com you say ‘com’ as a word just as you would in English – pwan com.

At symbol @ Arobase – so for example the email address [email protected] would be jean pwan dupont arobas bluewin pwan ce ash.

Ampersand/and symbol & esperluette

Dash – tiret

Underscore _ tiret bas 

Forward slash / barre oblique

Upper case/capital lettersMajuscule (or lettre majuscule)

Lower caseminiscule

The following punctuation points are less common in email or web addresses, but worth knowing anyway:

Comma , virgule. In French a decimal point is indicated with a comma so two and a half would be 2,5 (deux virgule cinq)

Exclamation mark ! point d’exclamation – when you are writing in French you always leave a space between the final letter of the word and the exclamation mark – comme ça !

Question mark ? point d’interrogation – likewise, leave a space between the final character and a question mark 

Brackets/parentheses ( ) parenthèse

Quotation marks « » guillemets 

Numbers

If you need to give your phone number out, the key thing to know is that Swiss-French people pair the numbers in a phone number when speaking.

So say your number is 079 345 6780, in French you would say zero septante-neuf, trois-cents quarante-cinq, soixante-sept, huitante (zero seventy-nine, three hundred forty-five, sixty-seven, eighty ).

Mobile numbers in Switzerland  begin with 079 or 078 (zero septante-neuf or zero septante-huit).

Social media

If you want to give out your Twitter or Instagram handle, the chances are you might need to know some punctuation terms as described above.

Otherwise the good news is that a lot of English-language social media terms are used in Switzerland too.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have the same names in Switzerland and have entered the language in other ways too, for example you might describe your dinner as très instagrammable – ie it’s photogenic and would look good on Instagram.

On Twitter you can suivre (follow), aimer (like) or retweet (take a wild guess). You’ll often hear the English words for these terms too, though pronounced with a French accent.

There is a French translation for hashtag – it’s dièse mot, but in reality hashtag is also very widely used.

Tech is one of those areas where new concepts come along so quickly that the English terms often get embedded into everyday use before the French-speakers can think up an alternative.

READ MORE: French-speaking Switzerland: Seven life hacks that will make you feel like a local

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