The creator of the well-known game Rubiks Cube, and his licensing company sued for counterfeiting acts a French company on the basis of their community three-dimensional trademark representing the famous cube.
The defendant tried to obtain the cancellation of the mark arguing on one hand that the shape of the game could not be dissociated from its technical effect and use, what was supported on the other hand by the existence of a patent on the Rubiks cube, now out of patent right.
The judges deemed on April 7, 2006, that the external aspect was not linked to the function and mechanism of the product. Moreover, the choice of colors and number of movable elements is original and arbitrary, and reveals the personality of the author. This is good news for Mr. Rubik who did not even raise distinctiveness acquired through use, and a rare decision in favor of 3D trademarks.