9

I recently made a MOC using LEGO bricks that I would like to sell. I know that, since this is my own construction I have the rights to do that, but my question is about the LEGO trademark. I want to make a box to ship the guides and pieces, and I would like to know if I can say "made with LEGO bricks" on it or something related to LEGO. I do not intend to use their logo or try to fool the buyer trying to make him think this is a official product.

Would something like "non official made with LEGO product" get me in trouble?

5
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Is it legal to sell your mocs? – Phil B. Jan 29 at 13:40
  • 1
    Not actually. I had already seen that page, but thanks for your time! – Valentino Jan 29 at 15:25
  • 1
    As far as the general legality of using trademarks in the manner your describe is concerned, see Wikipedia's article on nominative use. While the article is rather US-centric, AFAIK similar legal principles do exist in most jurisdictions simply as a matter of common sense. – Ilmari Karonen Jan 30 at 4:25
  • You may already have this in mind, but just to be sure: you definitally must not base on any LEGO (or other) set on the market! – Spock Jan 31 at 18:53
  • You may consider asking a non-LEGO manufacturer to merch and sell your MOC. I just learned that CaDA sells the "C61042W Italian Super Car", a MOC created by "Bruno" (with an agreement between CaDA and Bruno). If you would come to an agreement also, you would definitely have no risk. I do not know, if other manufacturers do the same. (I learned that here, unfortunately in German only: link.) – Spock Jan 31 at 23:35
7

If you read the Fair Play Brochure linked from the Fair Play policy, you will see more detailed sections covering "Attempted Association" and "Product Copying". The reason you're not seeing an explicit "commercial use" call out is because there isn't one - if you want to use their trademarks commercially, you will need to get a commercial license via a licencing agreement:

The LEGO Group’s trademarks and copyrighted material may NEVER be used by unrelated third parties for their own commercial or marketing purposes, unless formal permission or a written licence has been granted by the LEGO Group.

Basically, you should not use the LEGO logo anywhere on your product or marketing materials to avoid any doubt. I'm aware of at least one LEGO Certified Professional (whose main site seems to have dropped off the net, but you can still find some bits on Facebook) whose products you can still find listed on various sites that give a fairly good example of how to do this:

TMC ReefScape box

I've seen these in Aquatics shops and online. A number of the listings mention LEGO but there's nothing explicit on the packaging - although the blue 4x2 is rather close to the official red 4x2 that is copyrighted. The catalogues however do carry the Logo as part of the LEGO Certified Professional program.

I would recommend doing point 1 below, as I'm not a lawyer, but I would suggest your options are either:

  1. Not referencing LEGO in any way, other than through the product shots.
  2. If you do reference LEGO, that should be purely in text ideally on the rear of the packaging (i.e. not prominent), include the ® symbol, and include their disclaimer (i.e. "LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this product") and contact a lawyer.
1

You have to follow "Fair Play" policy published by LEGO and you will be alright.

3
  • 1
    The problem is that the "fair play" metions only non comercial purposes. Since I am planning to sell the moc, this do not apply. – Valentino Jan 29 at 15:25
  • 3
    @Valentino that is the main point of fair use, isn't it? If you'd like to use it commercially you have to make a deal (sign a contact) with TLG. – Alex Jan 29 at 18:48
  • Given that the purpose of a trademark is to prevent brand confusion, as long as it's crystal clear that the MOC isn't an official Lego product and isn't endorsed by them, I think that mentioning Lego should be defensible without a contract. Of course, Lego could still try making C&D requests or try filing suit anyway, which probably is why most competitors use phrasing like "compatible with major brands" instead. However, IANAL, so the question probably would be more appropriate for law.stackexchange.com. – jamesdlin Jan 30 at 21:08
0

The website MOCHUB advertises with the following slogan:

The home of unique LEGO® creations

They sell MOCs by various builders. If they can get away with using the word "Lego", I suppose you could too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.