Lego Figures Have A Trade Mark Too

Lego have done it again. This time they have received confirmation from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that the Trade Mark for their mini figures should remain protected.

The decision came after a challenge by Best-Lock, the Lancashire based toymaker, who claimed that the figurines were merely building blocks designed to allow them to fit together. The ECJ rejected this argument and held that the figures were distinctive in character and more than just building blocks.

Lego therefore maintained the Trade Mark protection over the figures which have in previous special editions included figures from the X-Men, Darth Vader and even The Simpsons.

It is clear that more and more businesses wish to register their name, sign, mark, logo or graphical design by registration of a trade mark under The Trade Mark Act 1994. This would then protect the mark against infringement by another business using an identical or similar mark in the course of identical business or similar category of business.

There can be very few defences to a registered trade mark save to show evidence that the mark has become generic or if the trade mark has not been used in the 5 years before the potential breach occurred.

Having a trade mark registered and preventing all other competitors from using it is not in itself that easy. Specialist solicitors should be instructed as soon as it is identified that someone may be breaching the trade mark. The Trade Mark Act 1994 contains a warning that you may be liable to be taken to Court yourself if you threaten someone with proceedings for infringing a registered trade mark when it is a “groundless threat”. It is therefore best to rely on the expertise of a Solicitor specialising in trade mark infringement to help secure immediate undertakings to prevent any further infringement or commence emergency Court injunctive proceedings to stop the use and claim damages.

Manisha Modasia specialises in emergency litigation and in particular injunctions associated with Intellectual Property Infringement including registered trade mark and can be contacted on 0800 689 0831.

Manisha Modasia

About Manisha Modasia

Manisha Modasia is a Solicitor within the Dispute Resolution department at Forbes Solicitors. Manisha’s blogs cover her specialism in advising individuals, partnerships and company’s on contract disputes, recovery and disputing debts, emergency injunctions and remedies when facing disputes both business to business and business to consumer this includes also commercial agents disputes, intellectual property disputes and disputes arising out of contested wills. Manisha also writes about key changes in the law and regulations in relation to civil and commercial claims and case law which impacts on the Dispute Resolution.
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