Rubik’s Cube ruling “sets a damaging precedent”, says Rubik’s Brand president

The European Court of Justice’s ruling that the shape of the Rubik’s Cube is not a trademark "sets a damaging precedent", claims Rubik’s Brand president David Kremer.

The European Court of Justice stated that the Cube’s ability to rotate should be protected by a patent and not a trademark, which means the shape of the cube alone is not enough to protect it from being copied.

"We are disappointed by today’s decision by the CJEU," said Kremer.

"While the Rubik Brand is fortunate in having other trademarks, copyright, passing off and unfair competition to rely on which will continue to ensure its exclusivity, this judgement sets a damaging precedent for companies wishing to innovate and create strong brands and distinctive marks within the EU, and is not what European lawmakers intended when they legislated for 3D trademarks.

“We agree that a 3D trademark should not infer functionality as that would restrict free trade and misuse the protection, however there are identically functioning puzzles on the market which are not similarly shaped to the well-known Rubik Cube with its distinctive grid pattern (for example spherical twisting puzzles with an identical number of elements), and there are identical looking products to the Rubik’s Cube without any rotating or puzzle functionality, such as a stress relieving soft and squeezable version.

"Therefore we are baffled that the court finds functionality or a technical solution implicit in the trademark.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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