Plastic toy building blocks major Lego Group has lost an infringement case in the home territory of its main rival, Mega Bloks Inc.
The Supreme Court of Canada on Nov. 17 dismissed an appeal brought by Lego affiliates after a previous court decision against Lego in mid-2003.
Lego has alleged Mega Bloks of Montreal infringes its common-law trademark rights by using connecting knobs on its building blocks that resemble Lego's knobs, causing confusion among consumers. The Supreme Court ruled the knobs are not trademarks but are functional components that cannnot be protected by patents. Lego's patents on the connecting knobs expired in 1988.
``The Lego Group remains committed to the belief that the public interest is best served by honest competition and is not served by unfair competition that relies on copying to confuse the public,'' Lego general counsel Poul Hartvig Nielsen said in a news release.
Lego of Billund, Denmark, recently lost similar infringement battles in Greece, France and Germany, and is appealing the German decision.
However, Lego has won a ruling in the Netherlands preventing Mega Bloks from selling its blocks there.