“🎉 A Victory for LEGO in IP Rights!

On January 24, 2024, the General Court of the European Union issued a pivotal judgment in Case T-537/22, concerning the intellectual property rights of the iconic LEGO toy brick. Since 2010, LEGO has enjoyed EU protection for the design of its toy brick:

In 2019, this protection was initially revoked by the EUIPO following an application by German company Delta Sport Handelskontor, arguing that the brick’s design was purely functional. However, in 2021, the General Court overruled this decision, upholding LEGO’s right to protection under EU law, which permits safeguarding of modular systems (art. 8(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002).

Delta Sport Handelskontor’s subsequent appeal in 2022 was dismissed by the General Court, affirming that a design can only be invalidated if all its characteristics are excluded from protection. The Court also emphasized that Delta Sport Handelskontor failed to prove that the LEGO brick’s design didn’t meet the criteria for protection under the modular systems exception.

This judgment (full text here https://t.ly/pq8ar) underscores the significance of balancing functional necessity with IP rights in the EU and the protection of iconic designs.

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Carolina Montero