Rubik's Cube wins trademark protection in EU court

UK firm Seven Towns has won protection for the iconic puzzle, fending off challenge from German toy manufacturer.
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The Rubik’s Cube has won the rights to European Union trademark protection, fending off a challenge from a German toy manufacturer.

The famous interlocking puzzle will continue to receive trademark protection for the design, the intellectual property rights to which are owned by UK firm, Seven Towns.

German toy manufacturer, Samba Toys argued in a case brought forward in 2006 that it was the toy’s rotating capability that made it unique, a solution that could only be protected by patent and not a trademark.

However, The EU’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market ruled that the “essential characteristics of the contested mark, are the cube per se and he grid structure which appears on each of it surfaces.”

As a result, the argument was rejected by the court, reports DW. However, the court also noted that the Rubik’s Cube trademark did not limit other manufacturers from creating and marketing three-dimensional puzzles with rotating mechanisms.

It only protected the shape of the cube bearing a grid structure.


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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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