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Three-dimensional trademark for Lego

By Iñigo Gené, attorney at law of Trademark Department

Continuing with previous studies of three-dimensional trademarks, today we point out a new sign that will be familiar to all, because the General Court of the European Union has confirmed that the reproduction of a human figure of Lego Juris A/S applied as a CTM is distintive.

According to the Community Trade Mark Regulation, a sign which consists exclusively of the shape determined by the nature of the goods themselves or which consists exclusively of the shape of goods necessary to obtain a technical result may not be registered as a Community trade mark.

Based on this provision, in 2000, Lego Juris A/S applied for the three-dimensional Community trademark in the form of a human figure, which was the subject of an application of declaration of invalidity by a third party, taking into account that the trademark applied for was inadmissible according to the Community Trade Mark Regulation.

Both OHIM and later the General Court of the European Union rejected the application for a declaration of invalidity and accepted the CTM for registration, according to the following reasons:

1. The complainant had not put forward any argument to support the assertions that the three-dimensional trademark filed by Lego Juris A/S could be object of a declaration of invalidity on the grounds that the shape of the goods in question is determined by the nature of the goods themselves.

2. Under no circumstances, the shape of the three-dimensional trademark could be described as a technical result, that shape was just simply to confer human traits on those figures.

We will see how evolve the OHIM guidelines regarding the three-dimensional trademarks, but it seems clear that these will set tongues wagging because of its special features. Sugrañes Patentes y Marcas will keep you informed.

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