After the world famous Rubik’s cube lost its EU trademark battle this week, toymakers fear the flood of cheap copycat cubes.
The Rubik’s Cube, invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik, is the famous multicoloured 3D brainteaser that has challenged puzzle enthusiasts for more than 40 years and is still the world’s bestselling toy of all time, selling over 350.000.000 cubes to date.
But last week – after a 10-year legal dispute – Rubik’s Cube lost a key trademark battle. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said its shape was not sufficiently distinctive to grant its protection from copycat versions.
Seven Towers, the UK company that oversees Rubik’s intellectual property rights, registered the shape as a three-dimensional EU trademark in April 1999.
Almost two decades later, the ECJ ruled that the EU trademark representing the shape of the Rubik’s Cube was invalid, stating that it is not possible to acquire an eternal monopoly on technical solutions or functional characteristics of a product.
The ruling has ramifications for the game’s various licensed manufacturers, including John Adams in the UK, which could face competition from mass-produced, cheaper imitations.
Source: The Guardian
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