On September 23, 2010, Smart Blocks, Inc. filed an action against Lego seeking, among other things, to recover a shipment of Smarck’s Smart Blocks that were being held up at U.S. Customs. For those of us who don’t specialize in U.S. border protection, the Customs Department has the authority to seize goods which are believed to infringe intellectual property rights recognized in the U.S.
Now, as you may recall from one of my earlier posts, (Towels On The Beach Go 'Round And 'Round) people aren’t allowed to obtain trademarks for “functional” features of a product design, so I was naturally curious about whether this was in fact a case about a potentially functional mark. I searched the USPTO database for the Lego mark and came up with this...
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