Canadian Plastics

Canadian courts agree Lego can’t trademark the "look" of its toy blocks

Lego Canada Inc. (Richmond Hill, ON) has lost a court case claiming trademark rights for the "look" of th...

July 31, 2003   Canadian Plastics

Lego Canada Inc. (Richmond Hill, ON) has lost a court case claiming trademark rights for the "look" of the knobs of stackable, interlocking toy blocks marketed by both Lego and Mega Bloks (Montreal). A recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada upholds an earlier decision of the Federal Court Trial Division on the matter.
Mega Bloks president and CEO Marc Bertrand is pleased with the decision, and notes that it is consistent with the decisions of courts in other major markets in which Mega Bloks does business.
According to Mega Bloks, the Appeal Court decision reaffirms a longstanding doctrine that the protection of functional devices, such as the knob design, is the domain of patent law, not trademark law. Lego’s patent on its standard block expired in 1978.
A press statement from Lego expressed disappointment that the courts had failed to alleviate confusion among the two brands for consumers, and noted that Lego may consider an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.


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