The European Court of Justice has ruled that the familiar shape of the Lego brand plastic building block cannot be protected under European trademark law.
In a decision that competitor Mega Brands, Inc. said was "not only a victory for us, but . . . a victory for all the consumers around the world that have made the Mega Bloks brand the No. 1 pre-school building block," the court noted that "'signs which consist exclusively of … the shape of goods which is necessary to obtain a technical result … shall not be registered." This "precludes registration of any shape consisting exclusively, in its essential characteristics, of the shape of the goods which is technically causal of, and sufficient to obtain, the intended technical result, even if that result can be achieved by other shapes using the same or another technical solution."
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