In the category of (over)zealous trademark protection, we note a report of the Lego Group’s lawsuit in Denmark against artist Louise Lego Andersen. Seems the artist likes to use her middle name in her artistic signature and as the name of her gallery, and the toy maker doesn’t like it.
It doesn’t matter to the maker of Lego plastic bricks that Ms. Andersen’s family has used the name since 1908, more than two decades before the toy company began using the name.
The report we saw doesn’t describe the standards of trademark law in Denmark. But if they are similar to U.S. law, we’re having a difficult time seeing consumer confusion between the maker of building blocks for children and an artist using her name to sign and promote her work.
For more about the Lego vs. Louise case, see Allan Jenkins’ blog entry.For another interesting, but more appropriate, effort by that company to protect its trademark, try going to the Lego website, but make the boo-boo that some people are making and type in an “s” at the end of the name, as in www.Legos.com. You’ll have 10 seconds to read the message, which is a step the company is taking to help prevent their trademark from becoming a generic term that anyone, even competitors, could use, instead of retaining its status as a protected mark usable only by the Lego Group.