Lego Group v. Consorcio del Pichincha

Bermeo successfully represented the Lego Group in an opposition against Consorcio del Pichincha for infringing trademark
applications of a design consisting of a car completely built by LEGO Blocks.

Consorcio del Pichincha is a major company in the financial industry which provides credits and loans to acquire automobiles. The company launched a new project called Plan Consorcio and advertised it with a slogan making reference to “build your future.” Consorcio del Pichincha applied for the marks PLAN CONSORCIO & DESIGN in two different classes.

At first, the Trademarks Director issued split decisions, conceded the mark in one class and denied the mark on the other class. After Administrative reviews, both cases went all the way up to Appeals. On August, 19, 2010, the IP Committee denied the registrations of the marks because of the risk of association with LEGO, and LEGO’s prior copyrights and trademark rights.

Protecting the LEGO blocks has been a challenge in other countries either because there is no trademark, industrial design or any IP protection for the blocks themselves. In Ecuador, the IP Committee acknowledged Lego’s TM rights and concluded that there is a risk of association with Lego, and that Consorcio del Pichincha would unduly benefit from LEGO’s fame.

August 19 2010

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