The LEGO Group is taking down 3D print designs to “protect the LEGO trademarks, copyrights and patents”

A spokesperson for the LEGO Group said that takedowns of 3D printed content are taking place in order to protect the company’s intellectual property.

Earlier this week the story broke that the LEGO Group has been targeting a large number of people in the 3D printing community sharing LEGO related designs, requesting that the content be taken down. 3D Printing Industry, the website that originally shared the story, has sought advice from legal experts and received a response from the LEGO Group.

Jonas Søndergård, LEGO Global Press Officer, Corporate Communications said that the goal was “to protect the long-term exclusive rights of the LEGO trademarks, copyrights and patents.”

Michael Weinberg, Executive Director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law, provided expert comment for the article. He told 3D Printing Industry: “While LEGO has a trademark in the term ‘LEGO,’ that does not give them the right to stop all uses of that word. People are generally free to use a term like ‘LEGO’ in order to show that a model is compatible with LEGO bricks as long as their use does not create confusion that the person’s model actually comes from Lego. This is true even if the model is being sold commercially.”

The 3D printing community has been discussing alternative words to use than ‘LEGO’ in projects in order to be able to share their designs while minimising the chance of further takedowns.

Last year, the LEGO Brand Group invested in a 3D printing firm. Currently the company uses the process for protyping.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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