Toy building-block rivals Lego Co. and Mega Bloks Inc. will resume their court battle in Canada.
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa granted Lego leave to appeal a court decision last summer that the design of Mega Bloks plastic bricks, which are similar to Lego's bricks, does not violate Canadian law. Lego maintains its rival's bricks are so similar to its own as to confuse consumers.
``Lego welcomes fair competition, but is committed to protecting its intellectual property rights and to safeguarding the public from imitations which tend to cause confusion with consumers,'' Poul Hartvig Nielsen, general counsel of Billund, Denmark-based Lego, said in a news release.
``We remain very confident in the correctness of our legal position, which was twice confirmed by the Federal Court,'' said Mega Bloks President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Bertrand. A lower court decision in 2002 also found that Mega Bloks' small bricks, although similar to Lego's, did not violate Canadian law. The verdict was upheld in a split decision in the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa last year.
No court date has been provided for Lego's recent leave to appeal.
Lego is cutting staff and costs to offset a recent slump in sales caused partly by competition from Montreal-based Mega Bloks.