Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Lego Learns It Doesn't Get A Monopoly On Toy Building Blocks In Canada

from the choices,-choices dept

Lego Group, the makers of the popular building blocks has been in the news quite a bit of late -- often because of their overly aggressive lawyers. These were the lawyers who scolded people for thinking their website was instead of, and then told an artist whose middle name actually was Lego, that she couldn't use that name in her artwork. Well, it seems those lawyers have been fighting a much bigger intellectual property battle -- trying desperately to convince the world that no one else should be allowed to build connecting building blocks. Most of the Lego patents ran out by 1988, but then they moved on to trademark law. Apparently they still had at least one patent in Germany, but that got thrown out earlier this year. A Greek court tossed out Lego's attempt to block other building blocks earlier this year, and now the Canadian Supreme Court has dismissed a trademark violation case that Lego had filed against competitor Mega Blok. Was Lego really so afraid of competing that they had to pull out trademark law to stop any competition?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jared Anderson, Nov 17th, 2005 @ 6:41pm

    No Subject Given

    Too bad for Lego.Haa

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Rikko, Nov 17th, 2005 @ 8:27pm

    No Subject Given

    Guess they'll have to take apart their business model and snap together a new one from the adorable, convenient, colourful pieces.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Dei, Nov 17th, 2005 @ 9:34pm

    No Subject Given

    Wow, after all this time their impenetrable fortress just turns out to be some small plastic lawyers, and a brick wall 1.5cm thick of hollow plastic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    maca, Nov 18th, 2005 @ 3:15am

    No surprise

    It's no surprise really, they are trying to protect their business. Lego hasn't been doing so well since the late 90's when they made some huge losses and have to lay-off a lot of people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2005 @ 4:31am

    Re: No surprise

    Yes, they haven't done well in years. Maybe instead of suing, they should rething the whole "specialized sets" that they sell. You know, the one branded with "Harry Potter" or something like that where you get 25 pieces for $40 that can only be used to make two different formations...

    Ah, to go back to the days of basic blocks and lots of imagination...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Galley, Nov 18th, 2005 @ 6:49am

    Re: No surprise

    Lego building blocks were named "greatest toy of the 20th century" for a reason. Perhaps they should try to remember what they did to warrant that award. Hint: it has nothing to do with branding!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    whosawhat?, Nov 18th, 2005 @ 7:34am

    Re: No surprise

    I agree. The other day I was at the toy store and stumbled into the lego section. I couldn't find any lego that wasn't Star Wars or Harry Potter.

    Can't you buy just a generic set of building blocks and lego men anymore?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Sissy Pants, Nov 18th, 2005 @ 8:41am

    Re: No surprise

    Lego, my Eggo? wonder if they've been sued...

    Lego, my Lego(tm)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon, Nov 19th, 2005 @ 8:39am


    This is just another example of Coporate Grandpa [because they are so old at this point] still trying to be the bully on the playground. Question: Are they going to go after the breakfast bunch next? Lego my eggo? Sound familiar?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Misato, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Why help your customers when you can harass them?

    Lego is stupid. The vast majority of Lego websites provide information about Lego and their products. Their domain name, while containing the word 'lego' look nothing what-so-ever like or any of it's sub directories.

    This is just ridiculous to go after every website that you can find that contain the word lego.

    Now for the stupidity of Lego.
    Number one. Any website that is about Lego is free advertising for Lego.

    Number two. A big percentage of these domains are owned by Lego enthusiast, which in turn mean, they are owned by Lego customers who give Lego a great amount of business.

    Number there. These are also websites that help other Lego enthusiast in ways that Lego can't and / or chooses not to, thereby relieving Lego of customer support that might otherwise be demanded of Lego.

    And these are the people that Lego wants to sue??? It's amazing that a company as large as Lego lacks this much business sense and this much apathy toward the very people ( their customers ) who keep them in business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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