aNb Media News, September 16, 2010

MEGA Brands Wins Court Case Over LEGO

The LEGO group lost its case against MEGA Brands at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for the right to register the iconic eight-stud brick as a trademark. This decision, which cannot be appealed, is applicable in all countries in the European Union.

In a response to the court ruling Peter Kjær, head of the LEGO Group’s Intellectual Property Section, issued this statement: “This was the court of final instance, and we have no option but to note the court’s ruling. The ruling has been given on the question of whether the brick is functional or not—and the court has concluded that it is functional. We have always disputed this—and continue to do so. In other court actions we have shown that bricks with virtually the same function can have other appearances,” he says. “It is naturally a matter of concern to us that use of the brick by others can dilute the trademark. But the worst aspect is that consumers will be misled. Analysis shows that 40–60 percent of shoppers believe they are buying a LEGO product when in fact they are purchasing a different product. Shoppers can see there is a different name on the box—but they believe it is a product line or company owned by us,” says LEGO’s Kjær.

MEGA Brands had no further comment.

FAO Schwarz to Open Pop Up Stores

FAO Schwarz announced plans to open approximately 10 pop-up stores for the 2010 Christmas season. Toys “R” Us, Inc., acquired the exclusive rights to operate the FAO Schwarz brand in May 2009.

FAO Schwarz pop-up stores have already opened at Tysons galleria in McLean, VA and The Mall at Chestnut Hill in Chestnut Hill, MA. Among the additional FAO Schwarz locations scheduled to open are Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ; Aventura Mall in Aventura, FL; The Westchester in White Plains, NY; Old Orchard in Skokie, IL; Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook, IL; and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. each is expected to be 2,500 square feet.

Viselman Reforms Company, Creates Divisions

Kenn Viselman presents. . . Inc. announced that it is forming three distinct company entities: The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company, A teenie weenie Music Publishing Company, and Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Multi-Media.

Viselman reclaimed itsy bitsy from The Handelman Company. It will focus on entertainment properties, including Visleman’s new children’s programming block Millipede and a television series based on his upcoming film The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure, among several other planned projects, according to a statement released by the company.

A teenie weenie Music Publishing Company will showcase music and artists for all ages. The Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Multi-Media will launch with entertainment ranging from television to publishing specializing in the tween-plus market.

Euro Disney to Expand

Euro Disney has signed a 20-year deal with the French government to expand the theme park on undeveloped land east of Paris. The agreement gives Euro Disney until 2030 to build a third park in the region, expanding on the existing park.

DHX Media Acquires Wildbrain

DHX Media has acquired Wildbrain for $8 million with further consideration payable subject to the financial performance of the Yo Gabba Gabba property over the next three years. Michael Polis has been named executive vice-president of branded entertainment and consumer products for DHX. Kidrobot, which is part of Wildbrain, was not included in the deal.