Rubik’s Cube shape is not a trademark, rules European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the shape of the Rubik’s Cube is not a trademark.

Seven Towns succeeded in registering the shape of the Rubik’s Cube as a European trade mark in 1999, but German firm Simba Toys challenged the trademark protection in 2006.

The European Court of Justice has now agreed 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.

In a piece penned earlier in the year for ToyNews on the potential ruling – which has now come into force – Harbottle & Lewis’ Jeremy Morton stated: "This is a massive blow to UK company Seven Towns, which holds the rights and whose CEO originally introduced the product to the world.

"Last summer, LEGO succeeded in registering Minifigures’ three-dimensional features as trade marks despite opposition by British competitor Best-Lock. That was also a decision of the CJEU. Arguably the Rubik’s Cube shape has more of a functional feel to it."

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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