The Billion Dollar Block

In 1958, President Eisenhower was president of the United States, Khrushchev was in charge of Russia and Charles de Gaulle was Prime Minister of France.  NASA was formed that year, satellites were launched and the computer chip, the modem and TV remote controls were invented.

By all accounts it was an amazing year.  But one more amazing thing happened that year, U.S. Patent 3,005,282, titled “Toy Building Brick,” was filed on January 28, 1958.  It covered a series of interconnected Toy Building Bricks.  The patent was issued three years later and was the beginning of an international toy empire for LEGOs.  Lego’s however, didn’t stop with just one patent. Lego filed for many patents to cover its building block business, over 900 patents worldwide with many patents still pending.

In addition, to patents, Lego’s brand is a valuable and famous trademark.  It is instantly recognized around the world and has substantial “goodwill” associated with its brand name.  One of the main purposes of a trademark is to help consumers recognize you as the source of your goods. That recognition is often referred to as “goodwill.”  In fact, Lego owns dozens of U.S. trademark registrations, and many more worldwide, on the marks Lego, Legoland, and other variations.

Lego also values the artistic appearance of its building sets.  Today, more than ever, it is developing unique and artistic models which are subject to copyright protection.  These copyrights are very valuable, because if timely registered, may account for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per work intentionally infringed.

Using patents, trademarks and copyrights, Lego has successfully built a worldwide empire in blocks which is worth billions of dollars.  If you think you have a better invention than a billion dollar block and would like to patent, copyright or trademark it, please feel free to call one of our intellectual property attorneys.