Rubik’s Cube is is one of the world’s most famous toys and has been around for decades. Even so, the European Court of Justice says it’s not unique, ToyNews reports.
Rubik’s Cube was created way back in 1974. The original name was Magic Cube. Over the years it has become one of the most popular and challenging toys and puzzles.
There are many championships to solve the cube as fast as possible. The latest record? A robot solved the puzzle in a staggering 637 milliseconds!
The European Court of Justice though ruled that the shape of the Rubik’s Cube is not a trademark. The company that owns the rights, Seven Towns, managed to register it back in 1999.
German toy firm Simba Toys though challenged the trademark in 2006. The Court thinks the ability of the Cube to rotate is not a trademark, but it should be protected by a patent. This means that you can pretty much copy the Cube and anyone can make their own version of it.
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.”
Rubik’s Brand president David Kremer adds that the ruling sets a damaging precedent. “Therefore we are baffled that the court finds functionality or a technical solution implicit in the trademark.” His statement features a lot of technical stuff. Long story short, he agrees that the trademark doesn’t cover the mechanics. But he also states that there are other puzzles which does that.
Does all of this means there will be a lot of copies and clones of the Cube? Probably. The company will have to rely on better branding to let people know which one is the original Rubik’s Cube.