EUIPO Invalidates 3D Trademark for Rubik's Cube in Recent Decision
2024-01-22
 

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EUIPO Invalidates 3D Trademark for Rubik's Cube in Recent Decision

EUIPO Invalidates 3D Trademark for Rubik's Cube in Recent Decision

2024-01-22

In a recent ruling, the First Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) overturned the registration of the 3D trademark for the Rubik's Cube in case R 850/2022-1.

 

Verdes Innovations S.A initiated the trademark invalidity proceedings against the 3D trademark owned by Spin Master Toys UK Ltd under Article 7(1)(e)(ii) of the EU Trademark Regulation (207/2009). This article prohibits the registration of shapes or other characteristics that are necessary for the product's function. Verdes Innovations argued that the cube shape, including its form, grid structure, and colors, were essential features for the operation of the Rubik's Cube and, therefore, should not be eligible for trademark protection.

 

While Spin Master contended that the cube shape was not a necessary form for functionality and that alternative shapes could achieve the same results, the company also asserted that the colors of the Rubik's Cube were purely decorative and could be arbitrarily chosen based on design, not as essential features. Spin Master further argued that the specific color combination of its Rubik's Cube had acquired distinctiveness and met the requirements for trademark registration.

 

However, the First Board of Appeal of the EUIPO determined that the three fundamental elements constituting the Rubik's Cube – the cube shape, black grid, and diverse color design across six surfaces – were necessary for the cube's functionality. The Board held that the colors on the cube served to distinguish different sides and facilitate matching identical color blocks, thus contributing to the cube's functionality.

 

Consequently, based on Article 52(2) of the EU Trademark Regulation (207/2009), the EUIPO rejected Spin Master's arguments and rendered a decision declaring the trademark invalid.

 

Source: EUIPO News- https://intellectual-property-helpdesk.ec.europa.eu/news-events/news/eu-general-court-backs-augusta-national-trade-mark-dispute-euipo-invalidates-rubiks-cube-3d-trade-2023-11-23_en

 

Article and image source: Intellectual Property Office