Customs officers in Siberia have stopped 1,500 counterfeit Rubik’s Cubes at the the Russian border.
Russian border authorities said that the “three-dimensional puzzles in the form of a cube” are trademarked under the World Intellectual Property Organization. Patents over Rubik’s cubes have been at the center of several large-scale legal battles since the toy was first released in the 1970s.
The Irkutsk office of the Federal Customs Service said it stopped 1,440 Chinese-made products at the border.
“Each cube was individually packed in transparent plastic wrap and labeled ‘Toys’ and ‘PLEASE RECYCLE.’… The product turned out to be a Rubik’s Cube,” the customs office concluded.
Video of the seized products showed eight cardboard boxes stuffed with the multi-colored toys.
One of the trademarks for Rubik’s cubes is owned by Rubik’s Brand Limited (UK), according to Russian customs documents.
An administrative case into the illegal use of a trademark has been launched at the request of the Rubik’s company’s Russian representatives, a Moscow-based law firm named Gorodissky & Partners specializing in intellectual property rights.
The trademark’s owner asked that the fake Rubik’s Cubes to be destroyed, according to customs officials.
“The goods have been seized before the case is heard in court,” the customs office said in a statement on Thursday.