LEGO minifigures are a way for fans to identify themselves physically and digitally and they are known as SigFigs. Some of them are customized to the point where there are 3rd party logos printed on it and sometimes companies also use them to put their names and trademarks on it. Today, LEGO has cracked down this practice to protect their minifigure branding by releasing a statement on what you can and cannot do to a minifigure. This means you can’t print any “3rd party logos, names of organizations, and trademarks onto LEGO MInifigures” and you can’t use, order, distribute, or sell minifigures with them. SigFigs looks to be fine as long as there is no 3rd party printing on it, aka your social media/YouTube channels.
I know that LUGs and 3rd party custom minifigure creators will be affected by this ruling. Some LUGs do use their logo on minifigures to identify themselves and to pass them out to visitors. The custom printing companies will also have to shift their focus as well since companies do like to request their company logos on minifigs for company gatherings and events. I’m not sure how it will be supported legally, whether you get a cease and desist letters or if you’re a LUG, get removed from the Ambassador Network for violations.
The good thing is that custom printing on regular LEGO bricks is still allowed so there’s still ways for LUGs and companies to promote their organizations.
Customized LEGO Minifigures with printed 3rd party logos, names of organizations, and trademarks are not allowed. It’s not acceptable to use of the registered Minifigure trademark in combination with 3rd party symbols. The reason for the rule is that a trademark cannot simultaneously serve as an exclusive, representative symbol of two different entities. The ability of the Minifigure to serve as a distinctive LEGO brand symbol is reduced when a Minifigure is also printed with the name, logo, symbol, or other representative indicia of another entity. Left unchallenged, such use by third-party entities could put our rights in the Minifigure at risk and could eventually result in the loss of our company’s exclusive rights. This is something that we cannot risk.
Therefore, we must request that the community refrain from printing any 3rd party logos, names of organizations, and trademarks onto LEGO Minifigures, and refrain from using, ordering, distributing or selling Minifigures in such customized versions.
We understand that the AFOL Community would still like to celebrate their community events and activities via use of customized items and are pleased to confirm that according to current corporate 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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