Lego attempts to block its competitors out of the market
On 13 January 2012, Mega Brands (“Mega”) filed an antitrust action against its competitor, Lego, in the Los Angeles federal district court, alleging anticompetitive behaviour in the construction toys market.
Mega’s action makes a number of allegations, including that Lego:
(a) improperly registered a trade mark for the design of a “cylindrical surface feature” by evading a direct inquiry concerning designs used by competitors, misleading the US Patent and Trademark Office to believe that it was seeking protection only for that feature as an element of product packaging, rather than as a functional element, and not disclosing that that the element had previously been subject to a patent
(b) has asserted that improper trademark in order to mislead US Customs into preventing Mega from importing competitive products into the United States
(c) has engaged in unlawful monopolisation and attempted monopolisation of the US market for construction toys
(d) has engaged in unlawful and unfair competitive practices
(e) has engaged in wrongful conduct designed to interfere with the relationships between Mega and its customers.
The remedies sought by Mega include a declaration that its products are not infringing, an injunction, damages, and treble damages under the Sherman Act.
Update: On 20 January 2012, Mega confirmed that it had withdrawn its legal action after receiving confirmation that US Customs and Border Protection would not interfere with the importation of its products into the US.