Protecting the LEGO Minifigure Brand
LEGO minifigures are a way for fans to physically and digitally identify themselves and they are known as SigFigs. Some of them are customized to the point where third party logos are printed on them and sometimes companies also use them to put their names and brands on them. Today, LEGO has cracked down on this practice to protect the brand of its minifigures by releasing a statement about what you can and can’t do with a minifigure. This means that you may not print any “third party logos, organization names and trademarks on LEGO MInifigures” and you may not use, order, distribute or sell minifigures with them. SigFigs seems to be fine as long as there is no 3rd party imprint on it i.e. your social media/YouTube channels.
I know LUGs and third-party custom figure creators will be affected by this decision. Some LUGs use their logo on figurines to identify themselves and convey them to visitors. Custom printing companies will also have to change direction, as companies like to request their company logos on minifigs for corporate meetings and events. I don’t know how this will be taken care of legally, whether you receive a cease and desist letter or, if you are a LUG, you are removed from the Ambassador Network for violation.
The good thing is that custom printing on regular LEGO bricks is still allowed, so there are still ways for LUGs and businesses to promote their organizations.
Custom LEGO minifigures with imprinted third-party logos, organization names and trademarks are not permitted. It is not acceptable to use the Minifigure trademark in combination with third-party symbols. The reason for this rule is that a mark cannot simultaneously serve as an exclusive and representative symbol of two different entities. The minifigure’s ability to serve as a distinctive LEGO brand symbol is reduced when a minifigure is also imprinted with another entity’s name, logo, symbol or other indicia. If unchallenged, such use by third-party entities could jeopardize our rights to the figurine and could potentially result in the loss of our company’s exclusive rights. It’s something we can’t risk.
Therefore, we must ask the community to refrain from printing third-party logos, organization names and trademarks on LEGO Minifigures, and to refrain from using, ordering, distributing or selling Minifigures in such customized versions.
We understand that the AFOL community still wishes to celebrate their community events and activities through the use of personalized items and we are pleased to confirm that, in accordance with current company policy, fans are free to print graphics on LEGO brick elements and custom builds made of LEGO brick elements. to celebrate your community activities and events.
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