Rubik’s Cube loses court bid for EU trademark protection

The owner of the Rubik’s Cube has lost the right to an EU trademark for the shape of the classic puzzle game.

The General Court of the European Union ruled it was correct to remove the multi-coloured cube’s trademark protection after on ongoing battle to protect the design.

The court said: “Given that the essential characteristics of that shape are necessary to obtain the technical result consisting of the rotating capability of that product, that shape could not be registered as an EU trademark.”

Rubik’s Cube was granted the trademark in 1999, but had the EU-wide protection pulled in 2017.

Rubik’s Brand ltd appealed against the decision, taking it back to the EU court, but on Thursday it defended the decision to cancel trademark protection.

The company is still able to appeal against the decision one more time.

German toy maker Simba Toys has led the legal challenge against Rubik’s, fighting since 2006 against the trademark being granted.

In 2014, a lower EU court ruled in favour of the cube’s rights, but two years later the top court said EU trademark law prevents a company getting a “monopoly on technical solutions or functional characteristics of a product”.

The cube was created by Hungarian inventor Erno Rubik in 1974, who developed the cube with coloured faces which could twist without falling apart.

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