Rubik's Brand lawsuit against The Cubicle

Discussion in 'General Speedcubing Discussion' started by saxnbass, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. newtonbase

    newtonbase Premium Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    MK, UK
    They are going after them for manufacturing cubes not for reselling.

    Regarding quality control. Someone at Rubik's told me that the reason they would never be able to make a decent speedcube is that they couldn't risk selling one that can pop. This makes them much safer for young children.
  2. JustAnotherGenericCuber

    JustAnotherGenericCuber Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    United States
    It says that people will be disappointed when they get a cube that is not a rubiks brand lol
  3. Ollie

    Ollie Member

    Mar 31, 2012
    London, UK
    I'm not a lawyer but...

    EDIT: reading points 1-26, I can see where Rubik's are coming from. But it seems hard to believe that people are putting so-called 'speedcubes' into their shopping baskets ( mostly with Chinese branding and no mention of Rubik's) and getting confused when it doesn't arrive as expected.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  4. Tabe

    Tabe Member

    Feb 6, 2017
    Spokane, WA (USA)
    Exactly. The key here is that they're considering The Cubicle to be a manufacturer.
    ECuber YT and Jason Green like this.
  5. mitja

    mitja Member

    Dec 22, 2015
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    So, lets predict the next lawsuit: Rubik sues WCA for having a category Rubik's cube, but nobody is competing using Rubik's cube.
  6. Gomorrite

    Gomorrite Member

    Jan 20, 2010
    Why would you say that if everywhere in the document it is talking about selling and not about manufacturing?

    The lawsuit is about harming the brand. The patent is expired and manufacturing is not a problem anymore.
    mark49152 likes this.
  7. Tabe

    Tabe Member

    Feb 6, 2017
    Spokane, WA (USA)
    Several of the first claims (15, 16, 17, & 19) refer to The Cubicle as a manufacturer.

    I probably wasn't clear. I was trying to say why The Cubicle was the first ones that Rubik's went after - and that's because they're considered a manufacturer, too. They aren't claiming patent infringement, they're claiming that The Cubicle makes and sells that look like Rubik's Cubes.
  8. Rubix Cubix

    Rubix Cubix Member

    Jul 24, 2016
    Bath, UK
    I think it will be interesting to see how this turns out. But I think as with a lot of lawsuits, a lot is the time it isn't who is "in the right" who wins, its who has the most resources and money to throw it and the best lawyers, assuming this whole thing goes any further.

    Even if you think you could argue your case and win in court, there's always the risk that you'll lose and so for most people /SMEs it doesn't make sense to go to court because of all the time and money it costs.

    Ultimately I think it comes down to what rubiks want to gain from it. If they want some ridiculous sum of money then they will most likely want to go to court, however if they want just a cut of the sales or some form of licensing agreement, then the lawsuit might be a way to pressure the cubicle into doing that.
    Jason Green likes this.
  9. XLCuber

    XLCuber Member

    May 27, 2017
    Well sueing a company outside of the Continent may be a little hard. Maybe that is why they are going after a retailer. I am no way protecting Rubiks. I am a Cubicle Fan
    DMCubing and Reed Merrill like this.
  10. bobthegiraffemonkey

    bobthegiraffemonkey Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    The patent is old news, it seems I was thinking of this.

    They lost the trademark battle in the EU only then? Would that not significantly decrease their chances of successfully defending it elsewhere? I would be interested in what Phil has to say.
  11. AlphaSheep

    AlphaSheep Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Gauteng, South Africa
    For those who don't want to read the whole complaint, here's a summary:
    1. By making custom cubes that look like Rubik's Cubes, The Cubicle are infringing on the trademark owned by Rubik's (not the expired patent - this is only about the appearance of the cubes, not function).
    2. Rubik's claim that The Cubicle is deliberately trying to deceive its customers into believing that the cubes it sells are Rubik's brand.
    3. Rubik's say that their cubes are higher quality, and the cubes that The Cubicle sells are low quality, which damages the image of Rubik's brand (when in fact the opposite is true).
    Now for my own opinions:

    Interestingly, that first point is the exact same approach that previously failed in European courts, where it was basically ruled that the appearance of the cube is essential for its function, and trademarks can't be used to protect function. It looks like they're trying a different jurisdiction where the laws are worded differently and the justice system works differently in the hopes of getting a different ruling.

    Secondly, it's really interesting that the picked a picture of a custom GAN cube as an example of an infringing cube. I wonder how their recent partnership with GAN will affect that.

    Thirdly, they go on about irreparable harm to Rubik's reputation. I think what has caused the most irreparable harm to their reputation is really their dishonesty, and the fact that they actually make a crappy product that's unpleasant to use, and rather than beat the competition by improving their design, they used underhanded litigious methods on legal technicalities. In fact, it's clear from their need to partnership with GAN that Rubik's is incapable of producing a superior cube and has to sponge of of "imitations" to even have a hope of producing a better cube.

    I seriously seriously hope Rubik's loses this, because if they don't, the implications for speed cubing are enormous.
  12. Rubik's brand cubes "high quality" and cubicle labs cube "low quality" lol.
  13. VenomCubing

    VenomCubing Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    Thecubicle brands their 3x3s as 3x3s or speedcubes, not Rubik's Cubes. The only 3x3 that they claim is a Rubik's product is, in fact, a Rubik's product. IIRC, Rubik's never made a bandage cube diy kit, so their picture for diy kits is not good evidence whatsoever. A lot of these claims are bull crap. I get that this is to reduce competition in the market, but this lawsuit has few, if any, actual claims against thecubicle, so it shouldn't be of much use. I wouldn't be surprized if this actually nets thecubicle more money.
    ECuber YT and Jason Green like this.
  14. pjk

    pjk Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Rubik and others like Hasbro Games have been hassling shops and manufacturers in the speedcubing industry for years now (as did V-Cube for the longest time). They've blocked shipments from shops in the past, shut down listings, closed Paypal accounts, filed suits, etc. It is an ongoing game.

    The oddity in it all is that Rubiks (and others) sponsor many competitions where not a single cuber is using a Rubik's Cube, and they know it. Rubik's has not innovated really at all in this space as they seem to target the general public which has made up the bulk of their 350 million+ sales. Not only this, Erno was just at Worlds and didn't seem the slightest bit concerned about all thousand competitors using cubes not made by Rubiks. Erno has also expressed interest in supporting the community, knowing that most cubers aren't using a Rubik's cube. So it's somewhat of a contradiction for Rubiks to be supporting the community, yet suppressing it simultaneously. Them suing theCubicle is just another example of this which has been going on for 7+ years now.
    ECuber YT, Douf, Elo13 and 5 others like this.
  15. Jason Green

    Jason Green Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Fort Worth, TX
    Jason Green
    Although it is funny to imagine if there were a cubing black market for speed cubes. Hahaha
    ECuber YT and turtwig like this.
  16. JustinTimeCuber

    JustinTimeCuber Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Webster Groves, MO
    "ya got the stuff"
    Chree, ECuber YT, McubeS and 4 others like this.
  17. Competition Cuber

    Competition Cuber Member

    Jun 2, 2017
    Planet Earth
    Ummm, that's like suing Targat or Walmart for selling Rubik's cubes. Their both retailers, they can, but the cubicle can't???
  18. One Wheel

    One Wheel Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    Target and Walmart sell licensed rubik's cubes. TheCubicle sells "knockoffs."
  19. Tabe

    Tabe Member

    Feb 6, 2017
    Spokane, WA (USA)
    Target and Walmart also don't manufacture cubes.
  20. But surely it would be in their interests to say they are not responsible for such injuries, the way almost all food says cannot guarantee but free

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