Rubik’s Brand Ltd. lost the protection rights to the puzzle’s shape in 2017, after the EU’s top court ruled that law prevents the firm from having “a monopoly on technical solutions or functional characteristics of a product,” Bloomberg reported.
The EU General Court in Luxembourg upheld that decision on Thursday.
“Given that the essential characteristics of that shape are necessary to obtain the technical result consisting of the rotating capability of that product, that shape could not be registered as an EU trademark,” the court said.
It took Rubik over a month to solve the first cube he built, according to Rubik’s website.
Rubik’s Brand Ltd. can only appeal the ruling one more time.
Rubik’s Brand Ltd. was first given EU trademark protection for the cube’s shape in 1999, Sky News reported.
The legal battle began in 2006, when German toymaker Simba Toys GmbH challenged the game’s trademark protection, according to the outlet. In 2014, a lower EU court ruled in favor of the company's right to trademark the puzzle, but two years later the top court ruled against it.
The multicolored puzzle, invented by Erno Rubik in Budapest in 1974, has sold more than 400 million units around the world. The goal of the puzzle is to twist and turn the multicolored stickers so that they align on each of the cube’s six sides.