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

The Court has stated that the Cube's ability to rotate should be protected by a patent and not a trademark.
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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."


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Cube conundrum

Harbottle & Lewis' Jeremy Morton looks at why a recent advisory trademark ruling regarding the Rubik’s Cube presents a “massive blow” to its UK owner, Seven Towns.

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