Chocolate Candy Case
Germany Constitutional Court, First Senate
53 BVerfGE 135 (1980)
Germany’s legislature passed a statute, the Chocolate Products Act of June 30, 1975 (the act), which was designed to protect consumers from confusion. Section 14(2) of the act prohibited the sale of food products whose appearance, taste, or smell might be confused with listed products, such as chocolate. The statute was invoked by a registered association (plaintiff) that sought to fight unfair competition and sought an injunction against Mr. O. (defendant) and his company. Mr. O.’s company produced candy for Easter and Christmas that consisted of a chocolate coating over puffed rice. When a federal court upheld the ban, Mr. O. filed a claim with the First Senate alleging that the act was unconstitutional because it violated Article 12(1) of the Basic Law. The act sought to protect against consumer confusion in purchasing food and health threats and against deception. To achieve the desired aims, the legislature did not merely require that such products be properly labeled but implemented the additional drastic measure of banning sales of such food items.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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