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EU court rejects Lego trademark

Lego bricks
The EU will allow rivals to sell toy bricks like these

The Danish toy maker Lego has lost a court battle to protect its iconic plastic bricks.

The EU's Court of First Instance on Wednesday upheld a 2004 EU decision to cancel the brick's trademark status.

The trademark was registered in the EU in 1999, but rival Canadian toy firm Mega Brands - which makes Mega Bloks - successfully challenged it.

The EU's trademarks agency said the brick was a functional, technical shape that was not one company's property.

Lego spokeswoman Charlotte Simonsen said Lego would appeal against the ruling, taking the case to the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, the AFP news agency reported.

The judges rejected Lego's claim that its competitors do not need to copy the brick's shape in order to get the same technical result. They said "the functional shape itself must be available to everyone".

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