Mega Brands, makers of Mega Bloks, among other children’s toys, is taking Lego Juris A/S and Lego Group to court over a trademark claim Mega Bloks thinks needs to be permanently deconstructed. Despite 20 years of selling their products in the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has warned the Canadian company that imports of some of their products will be restricted soon, due to a trademark claim by Lego Group.
It’s not an argument that has stacked up well against Mega Brands’ legal team in the past. The Supreme Courts of France, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands have all rejected Lego’s trademark claim on the building blocks’ design, featuring double rows of interlocking studs that make Legos Legos. In a particularly important legal decision, the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005 ruled that Legos cannot use their trademark claim for the design, only their patent claim. Unfortunately for Lego, that patent expired in 1988.
Mega Brands now seeks to invalidate the United States trademark claim, to avoid any interruption of its imports to the United States. If history is any indication, the result for Lego is going to be as painful as stepping on one of their legendary blocks.