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Lego lost trademark challenge of usage of red 3D 2x4 rendering


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#51 Jargo

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 10:48 PM

Hahaha! Front must be banging his head on the desk right now.

This is a non-story really. Storm in a teacup. Lego still have their brand logo exclusively and that makes every product instantly recognisable and is more or less the seal of quality. The image of a brick is pretty useless with so many clones and bootlegs. The loss of exclusive usage rights is nothing to cry over.

#52 Skalldyr

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:17 PM

I think the best way to let it not come to any problems will be to buy more Lego.  :wink:
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#53 the enigma that is badger

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:24 PM

View PostMr. Mandalorian, on 14 September 2010 - 04:11 PM, said:

Again, Brickforge and Brickarms are not competitors to Lego. All the pieces they make are to supplement serious lego builders like us. I believe Will from BA still molds out of his garage. How does this seem like competition to you?
Just to make one point clear, Mr. Mandalorian is 100% perfect correct that Will intends BrickArms products to enhance and supplement the LEGO building experience with custom products in an aesthetic and genres (particularly modern combat) LEGO hasn't, doesn't, and would likely never pursue.  You're quite honestly unlikely to find someone with more respect for LEGO and the quality of its products than Will, and that's the reason why you'll never see anything from BrickArms with a stud or could ever be mistaken as brick.  

And certainly, given it's a multinational corporation, nothing custom is ever going to compete with LEGO on any level!  Every custom vendor is just a speck of dust next to TLC, and that's just fine to Will; he's just happy BricksArms has been as accepted as it has and that he can support his family doing what he loves!

That said, while Will does cut and inject his prototype molds in his workshop, the BrickArms production molds are professionally tooled and molded. Again though, comparing that scale to the globe-spanning production facilities LEGO operates, and you're back to the drop in a bucket! ;)

Returning to the key issue at hand, I have samples from a large number of clone and pirate brands, and while quality does vary, even at their best they can't hold a candle to LEGO.  At least for myself, it's the quality and creativity inherent in the LEGO brand that made the company successful and continues to do so, regardless of what clone products exist in the market.
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#54 Bounty Hunter

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:29 AM

@Badger, Wel Will could compete with Lego if he wanted to. He doesnt want to overthrown them :P.

IMO TLG has literally nothing to be worried about. Last year they made a gross profit of 3 Billion+ USD. I mean come on! With that much income means loyal buyers who want go to the cheaper brands. This is Food items where u buy the knock off brand because its cheaper and its the same taste. This is a plastic brick. If you try to put a lego piece on a MegaBlock u will have a tad bit of a problem of it staying.

Overall, I think Lego is trying to whipe out clone brands so it will be a Monoply

#55 Dan the Brickman

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:12 AM

My only concern, is that Lego keeps its quality, and doesnt try to cut costs to compete with the others. as long as they dont, they will stay the greatest bricks in the universe.

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#56 Izy

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:41 AM

Lego's motto has always been:

DET BEDSTE ER IKKE FOR GODT

wich means never to skimp on quality. It has been a guiding principle for the Lego group for more than 75 years!

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#57 Superkalle

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:49 AM

View PostFront, on 14 September 2010 - 06:37 PM, said:

This thread is based on a misunderstanding about what the EU court has decided on.

The trial was a dispute about whether the 3D representation of a red 2x4 brick (the rendering in 2D of a brick from an isometric viewpoint) is a trademark of the LEGO company, and thereby something that other companies can't use in their marketing or any other material. The EU court does not recognize this image of a red 2x4 as a trade mark of the LEGO company.

It has absolutely nothing to do about whether the LEGO company can avoid other companies making bricks of any sort.

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Thanks for clariyfing that.
The problem is that in the press this has not been expressed like that.
In my daily newspaper there was a short notice this morning which gave you the feeling that it was more about the right to use the Lego-brick. There was even mentioning about the 1958 invention with the tubes. But I can see that you are right Front. I'll change the FP text to better reflect this.

But it is a fact that LEGO is putting conciderable effort into preventing others from marketing LEGO-clone brands. Toy shops that put clone brands in the store can be threatened with stopped delievies from LEGO if the do. To think of it, I've never seen a swedish toy shop that has both LEGO and clone brands.
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#58 Izy

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:55 AM

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 07:49 AM, said:

Thanks for clariyfing that.
The problem is that in the press this has not been expressed like that.
In my daily newspaper there was a short notice this morning which gave you the feeling that it was more about the right to use the Lego-brick. There was even mentioning about the 1958 invention with the tubes. But I can see that you are right Front. I'll change the FP text to better reflect this.

But it is a fact that LEGO is putting conciderable effort into preventing others from marketing LEGO-clone brands. Toy shops that put clone brands in the store can be threatened with stopped delievies from LEGO if the do. To think of it, I've never seen a swedish toy shop that has both LEGO and clone brands.

It is this patent lego patent brick

#59 Front

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:39 AM

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 07:49 AM, said:

Thanks for clariyfing that.
The problem is that in the press this has not been expressed like that.
In my daily newspaper there was a short notice this morning which gave you the feeling that it was more about the right to use the Lego-brick. There was even mentioning about the 1958 invention with the tubes. But I can see that you are right Front. I'll change the FP text to better reflect this.

But it is a fact that LEGO is putting conciderable effort into preventing others from marketing LEGO-clone brands. Toy shops that put clone brands in the store can be threatened with stopped delievies from LEGO if the do. To think of it, I've never seen a swedish toy shop that has both LEGO and clone brands.

Yes, I know that the media (newspapers, TV, web pages) are very unprofessional in the description of what has actually been going on in the EU court. Basicly is't just about the right to use a logo, an image of a 2x4 brick.

I hardly believe that TLG will do as you describe above to stores selling more brands than LEGO. It would violate laws in EU.

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#60 Superkalle

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:49 AM

View PostFront, on 15 September 2010 - 08:39 AM, said:

I hardly believe that TLG will do as you describe above to stores selling more brands than LEGO. It would violate laws in EU.
Maybe, maybe  :wink:

But I'm curious, has anyone seen a toy shop sell both LEGO and a clone brand in EU? Was it then a big store or a small corner-shop?

Also, what are the rules that LEGO has for a shop to sell LEGO. Does it have to have certain floor space? Does the shop have to buy for certain amount? Must it be displayed in a certain way?
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#61 Captain Becker

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:19 AM

This cant be good :sceptic:  Im happy if the prizes get lower, but if the quality of plastic gets weaker :angry:  I guess its the end of my lovley hobby :cry_sad:

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Edited by Captain Becker, 15 September 2010 - 09:20 AM.

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#62 Front

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:59 AM

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 08:49 AM, said:

Maybe, maybe  :wink:

But I'm curious, has anyone seen a toy shop sell both LEGO and a clone brand in EU? Was it then a big store or a small corner-shop?

I was in a "Toy Super store" on the island Rhodes in Greece a month ago. Not the biggest toy store I've ever seen, but it was much larger than I would expect a toy store on that island.
They had a fairly good amount of LEGO and on the opposite shelf there was Cobi products, also quite a big amount.

#63 Zorbas

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:16 AM

View PostFront, on 15 September 2010 - 09:59 AM, said:

I was in a "Toy Super store" on the island Rhodes in Greece a month ago. Not the biggest toy store I've ever seen, but it was much larger than I would expect a toy store on that island.
They had a fairly good amount of LEGO and on the opposite shelf there was Cobi products, also quite a big amount.

Indeed. Since my comeback in LEGO after coming out of dark ages that was two years ago, I've seen clone brands in toy stores here in Greece, varying from smaller brands to Megablocks.
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#64 Delta 38

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:01 AM

Hmm, I don't know. Although I don't really like customs and much more so for clone brands, I'm not sure if it matters that much. Certainly, if there were no clone brands, licenses given to others such as Mega Bloks (grr, Halo Wars license!) could potentially be taken by Lego.
There may be more price competitiveness due to the clone brands staying. I hope the quality and things won't be compromised to make up for this, though.
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#65 Tropy

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:09 AM

View PostKimT, on 14 September 2010 - 04:02 PM, said:

Allow the Free Market and thus the competition that follows?
LEGO is double the US price in the EU.
I welcome this competition and loss of patent.

Free Market ON! Now we just need the EU to skip the toll wall around Europe and open the borders for international trade.

Lower prices :wub:

I completely agree with this post. More competition means better prices (see US example) and it's not at all true that this will lower the quality of the products...
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#66 Klaus-Dieter

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:17 PM

Thank you very much for this information, Superkalle! :classic:

That sounds bad. :sadnew:

But honestly said, I don't see what there shall be for changes: At least here in Germany, Probuilder and Megablocks are sold in toy shops already since years. Often they are put next to Lego sets - which really makes me  :angry: . But whether TLG loosing trademark challenge or not - I do not see any changes why now there will be sold more, different, similar or less Lego or clone brand sets. :wink:

As for the change of prices: Here is the only change I see. But regrettably not into a for us customers positive way. :sadnew:


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#67 AndyC

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:42 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 08:49 AM, said:

But I'm curious, has anyone seen a toy shop sell both LEGO and a clone brand in EU? Was it then a big store or a small corner-shop?

Several in the UK. Including little toy shops and big names like Toys 'R' Us. Granted the UK is a little on the periphery on the EU, but we're still in it nonetheless. :wink:

Clone brands never seem to have anything like the same amount of shelf space though, nor the level of in-store advertising. And, in my limited experience at least, customers in stores rarely seem to pay much attention to the non-Lego sets. I think the name still carries far more weight amongst consumers than anything else.
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#68 the Inventor

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:46 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 08:49 AM, said:

But I'm curious, has anyone seen a toy shop sell both LEGO and a clone brand in EU? Was it then a big store or a small corner-shop?

Yes I have seen it in the Netherlands, some small shop but also bigger one such as "toys XL" and "Top 1 Toys"

In some "Top 1 Toys" shops they even sell them together sealed in plastic.
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#69 Erik Leppen

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:47 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 08:49 AM, said:

But I'm curious, has anyone seen a toy shop sell both LEGO and a clone brand in EU? Was it then a big store or a small corner-shop?
Yes (Netherlands). An Intertoys shop I recently visited had a large shelf of Lego and a smaller, separate, shelf for Megabloks. Although I thought the Megabloks sets were mostly just "brick buckets" rather than actual models. Can't remember having seen other brands.

#70 Plastic Nurak

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:48 PM

I recommend TLG to use for its brick trademark a bright red, whilst Merdabloks, Copi and other clone brands have to use a more opaque shade on it :laugh:  :sick: .
I'm not worried, you know? I continue to see LEGO boxes go and disappear on the shelves, leaving clones taking some dust on, although maybe the pirate brands box contains twice the number of pieces there's in the LEGO one at the same price.
There's some reason. One, important, but ignored by simple minded and lobbies' c**ks****r EU lawyers is that most of now parents are those former children grown in that time that parents and grannies didn't understand the deep difference being among LEGO bricks and other competitors (not clones, competitors! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in the good old days brands that produced brick toys had their own design, like Italocremona Plastic City, Exin Tente, etc. THAT was true competiton, not today profiteering) because these brands didn't exist when, in their turn, they were kids; so when the "big guys" decided to give to their children a bricky present, they choosed randomly or one or another brand (the 'Legoes' period, sigh). Competitors plastic often was cheap (I remember some of my old Plastic City bricks broken just after a year) and sets were not as attractive as the LEGO ones. Today parents remember their childhood disappoint and think "maybe we'll spend a bit more buying a LEGO box, but quality is more important than our kids' delusion". I can say this because some dad or mum that I know told me so. And (second important statement) kids are not stupid; dumb are those adults who think so.

Edited by Plastic Nurak, 15 September 2010 - 05:52 PM.

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but anyway we are all lego Users. i dont care which nationality the people have.

Stupid questions hater

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#71 legojojo

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 06:08 PM

If my understanding of this matter is correct, it seems this legal decision is just about the use of the picture of the 2x4 brick. So this decision might be mostly symbolic (and a publicity stunt for competitors?). However, this does raise the interesting question of competition and its potential effects.

Competition on price occurs only if customers are primarily sensitive to price in their choice. So, if people just want cheaper bricks, quality will probably decrease. But I think there are other possible scenarii.

In the case of Lego, I think (or hope?) that the public is actually quite sensitive to quality of bricks and designs (well, at least members of this forum seem to be).  And brand recognition for Lego is also quite strong. If so, then quality should mostly stay the same (prices might adjust a bit).

Another possible scenario is that the market is actually fragmented between people want who cheap bricks and those who want quality bricks. With enough people in either group, both markets could be profitable. I guess this would make Lego a luxury brick maker.

In the end, I guess it's up to the consumer to decide.

#72 Munkay

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:01 PM

Edit: Didn't read Fonts orignal post regarding the true meaning of this topic. Also, sorry for the double post.

Edited by Munkay, 15 September 2010 - 07:48 PM.


#73 Munkay

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:47 PM

View PostClone O, on 14 September 2010 - 07:30 PM, said:

Uh, guys, how about you stop and actually read Front's post just four back.  He clearly explains that you are all misguided in what you are talking about, and he should know, since he actually works at LEGO.

Sorry about that. After the second page i just clicked on the response button without seeing Front's post about the subject. Maybe thats what everyone else has been doing as well.

View PostgotoAndLego, on 14 September 2010 - 07:45 PM, said:


You are correct, but we've moved on and are discussing theoretical trademark and copyright issues. :D

Actually, you can only move on if you were partacking in the orignal discusion at hand. In this case, no one really has been disscussing the photo issue, but rather people still seem to be on the kick of this being an issue of selling clone brands next to LEGO products. So in reality, there isn't much point in going any further in the discussion regarding Lego vs. clone brands in terms of purchasing.

#74 Superkalle

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:29 PM

TLG has now posted their own press-release that explains well what this is about.
http://www.lego.com/...=&archive=false
(via Brickset.com)

As have been clarified earlier in this thread, it is about using the LEGO brick image as a trademark, but this seems to go beyond that and be of extreme importance to TLG as this quoute shows:

The LEGO Group’s desire to register the brick as a three-dimensional trademark is not for marketing reasons alone. “It is naturally a matter of concern to us that use of the brick by others can dilute the trademark. But the worst aspect is that consumers will be misled. Analyses show that 40-60% of shoppers believe they are buying a LEGO product when in fact they are purchasing a different product. Shoppers can see there is a different name on the box – but they believe it is a product line or company owned by us,” says Peter Kjær [head of the LEGO Group’s Intellectual Property Section].

It's not hard to understand why. The LEGO brick IS TLG. It's like saying that Coca-Cola does not anymore has sole right to their own logo. That would be the end for Coca-Cola. Everything is in the brand name.

So even if this topic is only about the brick as a trademark, it is a very important issue for TLG.
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#75 Munkay

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:46 PM

Quote

The LEGO Group’s desire to register the brick as a three-dimensional trademark is not for marketing reasons alone. “It is naturally a matter of concern to us that use of the brick by others can dilute the trademark. But the worst aspect is that consumers will be misled. Analyses show that 40-60% of shoppers believe they are buying a LEGO product when in fact they are purchasing a different product. Shoppers can see there is a different name on the box – but they believe it is a product line or company owned by us,” says Peter Kjær [head of the LEGO Group’s Intellectual Property Section].

So it seems that TLG believes that even though people can see that there is a different name on the box, people still aren't smart enough to see that there buying a different product. Right. If this is true, its going to take alot more than a red 3D brick.


View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 10:29 PM, said:

It's not hard to understand why. The LEGO brick IS TLG. It's like saying that Coca-Cola does not anymore has sole right to their own logo. That would be the end for Coca-Cola. Everything is in the brand name. ]

Thats a bite different. Coca Cola has there name directly Incorporated with there logo. TLG does not. Personally, i really don't see someone recognizing only the 3D red brick as identification that there buying a product from TLG. people that aren't that familiar with Lego or clone brands automatically assume most building brick toys are Lego anyhow. I can't tell you how many times I've been shopping for Lego to see someone looking at Mega Blocks "halo" theme and saying

"Hey cool! Lego Halo sets!"

The addition  or removal of a red 3D brick isn't going to change that.

View PostSuperkalle, on 15 September 2010 - 10:29 PM, said:

So even if this topic is only about the brick as a trademark, it is a very important issue for TLG.

I don't think anyone is disputing that, but for the most part this thread has gotten wayyyy off the original topic.



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