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Bricks Had Been S**t: LEGO issues takedowns of custom-LEGO objects on Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory, incl those that don't exist in the LEGO partlist

1 hour ago, Gegger said:

i am fine with them taking down direct copies, i'm not fine with them taking down original things.

 

i can see why they wanted anything with LEGO in the name taken down, but i've seen many other brick things that say lego and are selling like crazy in some areas

Wait... isn't this anticompetitive? Like laws against this. If someone advertises something as "X compatible" that's not ip infringement. I can even advertise "Ford car tires" as long as it's not "Ford's car tires".

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16 hours ago, KarathKasun said:

This is not BS, Lego patented the system in addition to the parts.  In fact, this lawsuit is just a re-run of many that came before it.

That patent expired a long, long, long time ago. What they still have is the copyright on the brand name 'Lego' so whilst anyone can make them using the expired patent... they simply cannot call them 'Lego'

 

I've always wanted some Lego kits, especially some of the Star Wars ones. But could never afford them... the new Millennium Falcon for example is £650 here in the UK....

 

So I've just ordered a 'Lepin'  Executer super star destroyer from Aliexpress at a 3rd of the rpice of the old one (that you can#'t buy any more... it's 1.2 meters long.

 

I went for a cheaper kit because I've never used aliexpress before, and I had to find a seller accepting paypal because I wasn't about to enter my credit card details into the site... If all goes well and it arrives in a reasonable amount of time, is decent quality... I think I'll order a Falcon in a little while... £650 for the Lego one... £220 for the Lepin version.

 

once built and on display... you won't be able to tell the difference.

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I'm in agreements that trademarks must be protected, lest a company lose use of the trademark altogether. However, the action taken is quite aggressive. A more diplomatic solution could've been used (requesting that blueprint titles be altered where applicable before issuing takedowns). That the LEGO group didn't pursue a less aggressive solution indicates them wanting to make a (loud) statement, probably to make obvious that they are working to protect the trademark.

Edited by Zodiark1593
Fixed for wording fail.

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This is, IMO, a non problem.  The files saved by the TarBall will be reuploaded as "lego compatible" or "compatible with major brands," which is perfectly acceptable terminology and is used by plenty of their competitors, i.e. K-nex, megablox, etc.

 

The brick shape and dimension is not the IP of the lego group, their patents have been expired for 20+ years.  In a perfect world, this would be thrown out of court, companies have been advertising their products as compatible with those of other companies for forever.

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11 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

I'm in agreements that patents must be protected, lest a company lose use of the trademark altogether. However, the action taken is quite aggressive. A more diplomatic solution could've been used (requesting that blueprint titles be altered where applicable before issuing takedowns). That the LEGO group didn't pursue a less aggressive solution indicates them wanting to make a (loud) statement, probably to make obvious that they are working to protect the trademark.

Lego doesn't hold a patent on any of this, they expired forever ago.  The suit is over the use of the lego name to describe the 3d models. 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lego_Group#Trademark_and_patents

 

@VegetableStu Could you update the OP on the nature of the suit and lego's patents?

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4 minutes ago, FezBoy said:

Lego doesn't hold a patent on any of this, they expired forever ago.  The suit is over the use of the lego name to describe the 3d models. 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lego_Group#Trademark_and_patents

Trademarks were meant. I typed Patents by mistake (forum ate my other post, hasty rewrite). Thanks for pointing that out. ;)

 

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How different do bricks have to be to no longer be considered 'lego' and how long until the lego community abandons official lego bricks to make open source 'lego' bricks

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44 minutes ago, Beskamir said:

How different do bricks have to be to no longer be considered 'lego' and how long until the lego community abandons official lego bricks to make open source 'lego' bricks

They don't have to be different at all.  The suit is over the use of the lego name, not the design of the bricks.  See my above comment.

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LEGO has a legal right to protect the patients (which they own) on their bricks. Scaling the brick/piece up or down does not change that. However I think the notion of removing custom parts is completely out of line. LEGO does not hold the patents to those and they should be able to be printed by anyone who wants them. 

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1 minute ago, DrMacintosh said:

LEGO has a legal right to protect the patients (which they own) on their bricks. Scaling the brick/piece up or down does not change that. However I think the notion of removing custom parts is completely out of line. LEGO does not hold the patents to those and they should be able to be printed by anyone who wants them. 

The suit is over the use of the lego name, not design.  Lego's patents expired many years ago. The brick design is in the public domain and used by many other companies, like megabloks or k'nex.

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Just now, FezBoy said:

The suit is over the use of the lego name, not design.

These people were using the LEGO name on non LEGO products? These fools were asking for it. My god, I thought makers were smarter than to blatantly violate IP like that. 

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25 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

These people were using the LEGO name on non LEGO products? These fools were asking for it. My god, I thought makers were smarter than to blatantly violate IP like that. 

honestly LEGO is in a position Adobe can only dream of (with Photoshop and le photoshopping) ._.

 

as mentioned, the public has referred to that specific kind of connection as "LEGOs", so as much as they're within their legal right, it's pretty futile to blame public consciousness ._.

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1 hour ago, DrMacintosh said:

LEGO has a legal right to protect the patients (which they own) on their bricks. Scaling the brick/piece up or down does not change that. However I think the notion of removing custom parts is completely out of line. LEGO does not hold the patents to those and they should be able to be printed by anyone who wants them. 

This post has been reported for using the words "L3GO", and will now be deleted. Enjoy your day.

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1 hour ago, DrMacintosh said:

These people were using the LEGO name on non LEGO products? These fools were asking for it. My god, I thought makers were smarter than to blatantly violate IP like that. 

Not a product. An open source hobby use and instruction system. Go over reactions.

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Oh noes, people will just go to torrenting sites to get what they need instead...

 

Seriously, this will just piss people off, it won't make them any extra money, it will only lose them money in the end, from the cost of litigation to the cost of brand loyalty.

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It's a classic case of doomed if you do and doomed if you don't.

Lose the trademark or piss off a niche market?

I think anyone rational would go with the latter even if it sucks to do so (for all parties).

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23 hours ago, TechyBen said:

OK. We will ban your account if you mention Intel or AMD, as those are trademarks. Oh, and every LTT video that uses those 2 words.

Quit being ignorant.  You arent advertising that you can use Intel/AMD parts in an unlicensed and reverse engineered system you made.  That is what is happening with the LEGO stuff, albeit on a much simpler scale.

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9 hours ago, DrMacintosh said:

These people were using the LEGO name on non LEGO products? These fools were asking for it. My god, I thought makers were smarter than to blatantly violate IP like that. 

Yeah people were posting things to be 3D printed like "Lego Tank Treads" - a part that doesn't exist in the Lego catalogue.
Problem being that most people when you show them a pegged brick, they refer to it as "Lego" without thinking about how its a trademark much in the way you might just generically call adhesive bandages, Band-Aids, table tennis as "Ping Pong" or moving stairways Escalators (Which at one point was brand, but the word got genericized in the 50s).
One way that *might* fix it, is if Thingverse changed any instance of "Lego" in tags to "Brick Compatible" and when someone searches "Lego" to show results of "Brick Compatible".

I do have to wonder what this means for other websites like Instructables, since I know there are a lot of things like "Lego Car" on there.

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Just now, Sypran said:

I do have to wonder what this means for other websites like Instructables, since I know there are a lot of things like "Lego Car" on there.

"Brick Compatible Car" doesn't roll off the tongue nicely, LOL

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1 hour ago, KarathKasun said:

Quit being ignorant.  You arent advertising that you can use Intel/AMD parts in an unlicensed and reverse engineered system you made.  That is what is happening with the LEGO stuff, albeit on a much simpler scale.

You are benefitting your argument by using Intel/AMD trademarks in it. Stop it. I own those trademarks. ;)

You don't have a license to use Intel/AMD trademarks in your arguments.

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On 10/2/2019 at 6:55 AM, Trixanity said:

It's a classic case of doomed if you do and doomed if you don't.

Lose the trademark or piss off a niche market?

I think anyone rational would go with the latter even if it sucks to do so (for all parties).

Except you don't actually lose the trademark and still quite firmly own it.

 

Now, the loss of money from pissing off all those people, compared to theoretical loss of sales due to (let's just call this piracy because that's kind of what it is) isn't really a valid equation, considering you can't make a perfect 1:1 comparison. "Not everyone who pirates was going to buy in the first place".

 

Especially since we're also talking about custom parts that Lego doesn't actually make.

 

There is a better way for them to handle this.

 

Lego could come up with a program to "license" these creators, not for a single fee but maybe a small royalty on each sale. Then the creators can call themselves "Officially Licensed Custom Lego Creators" or something.

 

Protects their interests whilst still allowing the community to make what it makes. Probably have some blowback similar to this, but I'd wager it would be less than this because: "hey, we're trying to work with you, instead of just going after everyone and anyone doing this, making them stop completely and being complete dicks about it".

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2 hours ago, Trik'Stari said:

There is a better way for them to handle this.

There's a better way for the creators to handle it too:

 

"Compatible with major brick construction sets (especially the red logo one)"

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3 minutes ago, HarryNyquist said:

There's a better way for the creators to handle it too:

 

"Compatible with major brick construction sets (especially the red logo one)"

i don't think tags can be that long ._.

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30 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

i don't think tags can be that long ._.

You're probably right.

 

How about #red-logo #brick #construction ?

 

Either way it bypasses Lego's trademark and their obligation to enforce it.

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