i checked Rubik's cube image rights and i'm still confused about the legal protection of Rubik's cube. I know the patent expired and their 3d trademark lost a case in EU.

Does this imply they don't own the exclusive rights to the concept of 3x3x3 cube with rotating sides?

Can I legally manufacture and sell a blank wooden 3x3x3 block that rotates with no pictures/color? (under the assumption that rotating mechanics are different)

  • Concepts cannot be patented or trademarked or copyrighted. Only expression of various sorts can be (and by a different type of protection according to details). – Nij Aug 22 '19 at 7:20
  • 3
    Concepts can be patented, even though they cannot be trademarked or coyprighted. – ohwilleke Aug 22 '19 at 14:06
  • A concept with a workable implementation spelled out can be patented. A "blue sky" concept shouldn't earn a granted patent. – George White Sep 22 '19 at 4:44

This patent was found https://patents.google.com/patent/US6974130B2/en, which expired in 2014 for failure to pay maintenance fees. Looking at the patents which cite it, and also show prior art, may help paint the picture of the developed patent status.

There are also numerous blogs and articles on the cube and it's history.


This one covers some initial patent infringement against Ideal. https://ruwix.com/the-rubiks-cube/rubiks-cube-patent-intellectual-property/

The wiki on the toy also has patent history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%27s_Cube

When I took a patent course at HLS, one of the final exam questions, which I did not elect to answer was on the Rubik's cube. It is a complex story.

|improve this answer|||||

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.