Lego lost its bid to make the iconic brick shape of its products a trademarked-protected design. According to ToyNews,
The ruling rejected Lego’s claims that its bricks have special chacteristics that set them apart and ruled that Lego’s two rows of studs on top of the brick performed a utilitarian function and were not ‘for identification purposes in the trademark sense.’
This claim has become increasingly important for Lego as other markets have grown up around the classic look of the plastic building blocks. For example, this MP3 player by HOMADE is styled to look like blocks in order to attract the youngest of the technological age.
We agree with the ruling’s sentiment that functional designs for stackable blocks should not be the intellectual property of only one toy producer. It seems that Lego is forgetting its own history – after all, the design of LEGO bricks is based on the design of Kiddicraft’s “Self-Locking Bricks,” which were sold in the UK up until the 1940.
It seems that LEGO may also have forgotten the sentiment behind its generations, too. The term “Lego” is a contraction of the Dutch phrase “LEg GOdt” which means, “Play Well.” Building blocks are a great toys for kids of all ages, and the right to “own” the simple mechanisms behind building blocks in simply nonsensical… LEGO should remember how to share.