3D Trade Mark Upheld

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The staff at Franks & Co were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family.

The United Kingdom is now officially in a period of mourning until after the Queen’s state funeral which is to be held on Monday 19 September. Normal day-to-day business will continue throughout this period.

The UK government has declared the day of the funeral to be a national Bank Holiday, so the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office will be closed on Monday 19 September.

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office’s official guidance on bank holidays is given below:

The office is deemed to be closed on weekends, Good Friday, Christmas Day and all England and Wales bank holidays for all types of business, except for the filing of new applications not claiming priority. If documents are filed for these types of business at times when the office is deemed to be closed, they will receive an official filing date of the next working day.

Any official time period which expires on a weekend or any other day on which the office is closed is extended to the next working day.

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) upheld Legos three-dimensional trademark for its figures against a complaint by competitor Best-Lock, which used similar toys.

Under the EC Trade Mark Regulation, a shape cannot validly be registered as a 3D trade mark if its distinctive shape:

  • is due to the nature of the product protected by the mark; or
  • is necessary for the product to function correctly.

Allowing a particular person or company to register these ‘necessary’ shapes would prevent other businesses or people designing or selling the same type of product without infringing the owner of the registered mark’s intellectual property rights.

In this case, however, the court held these objections were not valid. The nature of the product did not dictate its shape; plastic toy figures of this type could be made in “any form”.

Lego’s minifigures — complete with their legs with holes in, heads with dimples on top, and little yellow semi-circular hands — have become big business for the privately-held Danish toymaker. It has made more than 5bn of them since they were first introduced in the 1970s in the Town, Castle and Space sets.

Lego, which registered the 3D trademark in 2000, welcomed the ruling. “The minifigure has become an iconic representation of what a Lego product is,” said the company, based in the central Danish town of Billund.



Article Published June 29, 2015