Lego loses brick trademark appeal

The European Court of Justice has ruled against Lego's bid to have its bricks recognised as a trademark.
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"The Lego brick is not registrable" as an EU trademark, the European Court of Justice ruled. The toy brick consists "exclusively of the shape of goods necessary to obtain a technical result" and can therefore not get the EU- wide protection, said the court.

Lego claims the studs on top of its bricks make them "highly distinctive" and eligible for a trademark. The EU trademark agency said that the toy can't be protected because its shape serves a technical purpose, a decision backed by a lower EU court in 2008.

While Lego won an EU trademark on the blocks' shape in 1999, Mega Brands objected and won, arguing that the shapes of Lego's bricks serve a clear purpose and can't be protected.

The ruling is "disappointing," said Lego a spokeswoman.


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The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.