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 Post subject: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:33 am 
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Location: Hungary
Dear all,

I've just got a mail from EBay:


"MC999 eBay Listing Removed: Trademark Violation - Unauthorized Listing Content (785187953)"

"You recently listed the following listing:

321132618184 - Vintage ultra Rare Bognar bolygok - Rubik era - White
321132620072 - 3 Vintage puzzles - Hungary - Bognar golyok + Varikon tower + Rubik's cube


The listing was removed because it violated eBay policy.


The rights owner or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the rights owner, Seven Towns Limited, notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights. When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law. "


Then, I have written to Rubik's security:

Dear Seven Towns,

I would like to get information about my deleted listings. What was the problem with it? Would you be so kind to inform me.

Thank you,
Gabor Csete


Their answer:

Dear Gabor,

You don't sell genuine Rubik's Cube products and you can't therefore use our brandname, or any spelling of it, in your ads.

Best Regards

Head of Security
Rubik's Cube


My reply:
Dear Sir/Madame,

If I understand well, I cannot use this form: Rubik era. - If not, I'll edit my other auctions like "321132618184 - Vintage ultra Rare Bognar bolygok - Rubik era - White"

My another item is "321132620072 - 3 Vintage puzzles - Hungary - Bognar golyok + Varikon tower + Rubik's cube".
Sorry, but it is contains a genuine Rubik's cube. It's 118 gr, and my old cube not a copy. What name should I use?

And please help me, what is the correct speel if sb. would sell a not original cube? Magic cube? Could I use name: Erno Rubik?

Sorry for my lot words, but I would like to sell my puzzles orderly.

Br,
Gabor from Hungary



Sorry for this long post, but I'm angry and I don't understand!!!!!
Do you have any idea?

Thanks
Gabor


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:06 pm 
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But.. if you are selling a Rubik's cube.. a real life genuine Rubik's cube, you should be able to use the name?

Weird.. :? Hopefully someone can shed some light!


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:07 pm 
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I had this kind of problem a while back. Naturally my puzzles should go in the Rubik's category and the words "Rubik's type puzzle" gives an accurate description. I was however told not to do this by ebay. I explained that the term "Rubik's" is now commonly used to describe all twisty puzzles and that's often all that people search for. They accepted this but still would not allow it.
The thing that really bugs me about this is that I still see hundreds of non Rubik's puzzles sold using the Rubik's name. This is highly unfair to those of us who have been warned and no longer risk doing it. If this is a rule then they should stop everyone doing it instead of a tiny few.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:08 pm 
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This has happened before. You pretty much can't use "Rubik's" in your title at all.
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=23552&start=0

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:47 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
This has happened before. You pretty much can't use "Rubik's" in your title at all.
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=23552&start=0


Indeed, and there are even older cases (seven years ago!)

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5425&start=0

:roll: :lol:


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Maybe list them as "Rubix's" instead?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Weird. When I sold my Master Square-1 on eBay, I listed it as "Master Square-1 custom Rubik's type puzzle 3D printed" and yet that listing was fine. I'm feeling a little uncomfortable about this whole situation... :?

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:43 pm 
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I've listed puzzle as rubiks type and similar things before, without problem. Purely because that's a good search term, something that people are likely to search for.

Everybody especially non-cubers call all twisty puzzles rubik cubes. They are being incredibly petty about this. It makes me never want to buy Rubik branded products again. I tend to avoid their low quality products anyway, but still...

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:10 pm 
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Has anyone ever had a listing pulled for a non-Rubik's branded puzzle if you placed it in the "Rubik's Puzzles" category?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:49 am 
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"Rubik era" is prohibited, ok. But ridiculous!
But I uploaded an original old Rubik's cube. How could I call it? Lump sugar? Dice?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:51 am 
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I have almost the same issue, but with V-cubes.
I have tried to sell a re-stickered V-cube, and got almost the same mail from e-bay.
The final outcome was:
V-cubes does not sell / sold cubes with that specific stickering, therefor it is not considered as original V-cubes.

The main problem, is that everyone search twisty puzzles at e-bay as "rubik's". If you do not use this term, no one will find your auction.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:29 am 
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Olivér Nagy wrote:
The main problem, is that everyone search twisty puzzles at e-bay as "rubik's". If you do not use this term, no one will find your auction.



Oh, but this gives an opening for a solution:

Place in the auction title "This is not a Rubik's cube, but a cubic twisty". With photo showing in the search list, this should attract buyers.

or similar "This is not a Verdes-cube, but a magnificent re-stickered twisty based on a dull V-cube" :wink:


Good luck. You maybe not state it's Rubik, but you may compare. Comparison is allowed in advertisements.
8-)

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:55 am 
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Here is the new answer:

If you sell a genuine Rubik's Cube (with our logo on it) - feel free to use the correct name; Rubiks' Cube (see our website for more info www.rubiks.com)

Both your ads are other sorts of cubes, therefore you are not allowed to use the word RUBIK - RUBIC - RUBIX or any other spelling.

Please contact us again if you need help.



Best Regards


Head of Security
Rubik's Cube



So, we cannot use Rubik's brand never.
I thought, I have Rubik's cube, but I haven't. What about Rubik's Domino, snake, etc...
I'm confused....


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:06 am 
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Quote:
Place in the auction title "This is not a Rubik's cube, but a cubic twisty". With photo showing in the search list, this should attract buyers.

or similar "This is not a Verdes-cube, but a magnificent re-stickered twisty based on a dull V-cube" :wink:



Or I will say: this puzzle was inspired by Rubik's cube
Or: From the country of Ernő Rubik

Please revise my English.... (mod: okay, done)


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:14 am 
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Sometimes we really need a lawyer on board here.


How about when Pepsi would state:

Hey Coca-Cola lovers, here's a brand of cola you also might like: Pepsi

or

Pepsi, from the country of Coca-Cola

I personally think the 'head of security' (what security, this is legal/ IP. No security) of Rubik's is too threatening towards Ebay. And Ebay at all cost will avoid getting into costly legal conflicts. I don't think Rubik's has any or all registered rights to Rubix or all of the referrals

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:16 am 
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Splinter wrote:
I personally think the 'head of security' (what security, this is legal/ IP. No security) of Rubik's is too threatening towards Ebay. And Ebay at all cost will avoid getting into costly legal conflicts.

That's most likely what it boils down to. Sure eBay could probably argue, but why on earth would they want to?

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:19 am 
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I had the same problem one year ago. The workaround is to use "twisty" instead of "Rubik".


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:48 am 
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One of the tricks on ebay is to use not allowed brand-names in the subtitle, the subtitles are less controled. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:34 am 
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There are currently 2598 active listings in the "Rubik's Puzzles" category. Most of them (at least 95%) are not Rubik's brand puzzles and almost all don't even have "Rubik" in the listing titles. eBay doesn't seem to have a problem placing non-Rubik branded puzzles here otherwise there would only be a hundred or so listings.


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:44 am 
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I don't understand something. A 118 gr cube from my home (Hungary) isn't Rubik????
Please check the pic:
Attachment:
DSCN8031.JPG
DSCN8031.JPG [ 3.91 MiB | Viewed 3972 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:48 am 
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Does it have a "Rubik's Cube" sticker?

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:55 am 
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csete wrote:
I don't understand something. A 118 gr cube from my home (Hungary) isn't Rubik????

It is not Rubik's! It is "Bűvös kocka"
(made by politechnika, and not Rubik's... :? )

Recommendation:
Do not write Rubik's name to the title, but you can use it at the description.
For example:
- Non Rubik's brand twisty puzzle
- Inspired by Rubik's cube
...etc

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:14 am 
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Splinter wrote:
Olivér Nagy wrote:
The main problem, is that everyone search twisty puzzles at e-bay as "rubik's". If you do not use this term, no one will find your auction.



Oh, but this gives an opening for a solution:

Place in the auction title "This is not a Rubik's cube, but a cubic twisty". With photo showing in the search list, this should attract buyers.

or similar "This is not a Verdes-cube, but a magnificent re-stickered twisty based on a dull V-cube" :wink:


Good luck. You maybe not state it's Rubik, but you may compare. Comparison is allowed in advertisements.
8-)

I am almost certain that is not allowed under ebay rules.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:28 am 
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Here's some information I've found on eBay :

What to avoid in your title

Follow these guidelines when writing your title:

Don't include false or misleading information.

Don't include website addresses, email addresses, or phone numbers. The exception is the sale of domain names.

Don't use profane or obscene language.

Don't use the following words in an attempt to market or advertise your item:

Prohibited

Banned

Illegal

Outlawed

Don't use any other descriptive word that may bring into question the legality of an item by either governmental or eBay standards.

Don't include brand names other than the specific brand name used by the company that manufactured or produced the item you're listing. This is called keyword spamming and isn't allowed on eBay. These types of listings will be ended and the insertion fee for the listing automatically credited.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:31 am 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
I am almost certain that is not allowed under ebay rules.

Ebay requests an accurate description of an item to the potential seller.
If something does look like a Rubik's cube, you should state it is not Rubik's :P

Else the public might get misled (which is not allowed by Ebay).

And when I read the above guidelines, such statement should not be in the title but in the full description.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:07 am 
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Skarabajo wrote:
Does it have a "Rubik's Cube" sticker?


No it doesn't...


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:11 am 
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Olivér Nagy wrote:
Recommendation:
Do not write Rubik's name to the title, but you can use it at the description.
For example:
- Non Rubik's brand twisty puzzle
- Inspired by Rubik's cube
...etc


Thanks Olivér! It's a good idea: Inspired by Rubik's cube.
Although the "Bűvös kocka" inspired the Rubik's cube......

And this: From home of Erno Rubik?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:49 am 
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I remember selling my "Fake 9x9x9 Rubik's Cube" a few years ago. If I tried that now I'd probably get locked up by the ebay special forces team. The whole system seems crazy with no common sense used. It always makes me laugh when I sell a 7x7x7 barrel and get a big warning in red letters telling me that selling fire arms is not allowed.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:17 am 
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One system to be allowed to put 'Rubik's' in the title is to add a genuine Rubik's cube to your auction, so you can sell : '3x3x3 Rubik's Cube & Dogic'
or '2x2x2 Rubik's Cube & Astrolabacus.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Could you say "A cousin of the famous invention by Erno Rubik" in the description? There's no way they can take legal action against only his name, right?

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Ender Delphiki wrote:
Could you say "A cousin of the famous invention by Erno Rubik" in the description? There's no way they can take legal action against only his name, right?

:)

I'm a far relative of Erno Rubik, offering a cousin of his cube

That would be a statement! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:59 pm 
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UNBELIEVABLE!!
I sent an email to Rubik's explaining our concerns about this situation and pointing out how unfair it was to pick on just a few auctions. They sent what seemed like a reasonable attempt to explain it.

"Dear Tony

Nice to meet you by email – and of course we know all about Twisty Puzzles.
Let me try to explain our position. We are receiving many complaints from purchasers who have bought what they believe to be a Rubik product from online sites such as Amazon/Ebay/Allegro etc – this is perfect example (I removed the link to abide by forum rules) but are in fact not. As you can imagine this is damaging to the quality and safety reputation of Rubik product and does infringe our rights. Our licensed distributors are clearly also not happy.
As such, we have recently engaged an online security specialist to police online sales. This is a huge task and since they have only been working for us for 2 months they have clearly not been able to target all infringers. This action is not targeted at responsible and known sellers such as Twisty Puzzles who do not infringe our 3x3x3 rights. As owners we have an absolute legal responsibility to the Brand and to Erno Rubik to protect the name. Unfortunately there will be some teething and learning problems and we are in regular contact to update our requirements. For example, if a rare vintage puzzle is stated as coming from the “Rubik era” this should clearly not be taken down.
We value the Puzzling community and trust that as this work settles in we will be able to continue working side by side.
Kind regards,
Chrisi
"

A day later they have now removed my - "2 Rare Micro Rubik's Cubes - 19mm / 0.75 inch - worlds smallest mass produced!!" auction. To be honest I forgot that I'd used that title but how dare they target my auction just because I told them of our concerns while still leaving thousands of others on ebay! So we have KO companies stealing from us and now we have supposedly reputable companies trying to screw us over. Those micro puzzles ARE Rubik's Cubes, that's what everyone in the world calls them! grrrrrrrrrr. They should have learnt from V-Cubes how easy it is to annoy the public.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:00 am 
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Thanks Tony, this quoted mail was very helpful!
So, we can use this form: Rubik era?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:06 am 
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csete wrote:
Thanks Tony, this quoted mail was very helpful!
So, we can use this form: Rubik era?

Yes, you can. Until you can't.

I don't list many auctions, yet I did have some of them pulled because of this rubik's brand violation problem. In the end I resorted to a careful mention of the Rubik's keyword in the description of the auction. It's not blatant, it's not obvious, it's just part of the text describing the puzzle. That works, because most people usually look for this keyword in both the auction name and the auction description.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:47 am 
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To me, this just illustrates another problem with how pro-corporate/anti-creator IP laws tend to be. I am guessing Trademark laws have some ridiculously long exclusivity period and no tolerance for words that have made the transition from name brand to generic noun.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:46 am 
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Jeffery Mewtamer wrote:
To me, this just illustrates another problem with how pro-corporate/anti-creator IP laws tend to be. I am guessing Trademark laws have some ridiculously long exclusivity period and no tolerance for words that have made the transition from name brand to generic noun.

Exactly. One could argue these puzzles are rubik's cubes whereas the official ones are Rubik's Cubes. The words biro and hoover come to mind.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:42 pm 
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Why do they think they own the rights to rubix or other words like that? Did they actually copyright them?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:43 am 
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It seems, Rubik era is prohibited. We cannot use!

They have just removed one of my auction: "Hockey Puck Rainbow twisty puzzle - Rubik era"

Pffff....


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:10 pm 
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csete wrote:
It seems, Rubik era is prohibited. We cannot use!

They have just removed one of my auction: "Hockey Puck Rainbow twisty puzzle - Rubik era"

Pffff....

The bit about that never even made any sense. They said "if a rare vintage puzzle is stated as coming from the “Rubik era”. What exactly is the Rubik era? and what does being rare have to do with it? They clearly have staff who just make things up as they go along. It's a shame ebay goes along with it all. I would love to know how it would stand up in a court. I can see no way that they could legally stop anyone using terms like "Rubik's type puzzle".

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Is it actually a proper Rubik puzzle that you've paid for? If so then you have every right to sell it second hand using the Rubik brand name. Otherwise nobody would be able to mention the make of their car when they try to sell it second hand!

On the other hand, if it's not a genuine Rubik cube, then you have no right to mention the Rubik brand in your ad. That would be like selling a "Rolls Royce era" Fiat Punto. Not only would it breach their trade mark rights, it also seems intentionally misleading and therefore unethical.

Plus, "Rubik era" makes the Rubik puzzle sound like a thing of the past, while they still sell about 20 million units per year, so no surprise they are unhappy and want to enforce their legal rights.

I haven't read all the posts so I don't know the details, but either way the case is clear.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:22 pm 
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KelvinS wrote:

I haven't read all the posts so I don't know the details, but either way the case is clear.

It's very important to read my earlier post containing the email from Rubik's to understand csete's comment. They clearly state that it IS ok to use "From Rubik era".

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Oops, sorry, you're right I should have read before chipping in. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:40 am 
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Defending a trademark is one thing, but the problem is that there seems to be no leeway for terms that where originally trademarked brand names, but have over time become generic terms for anything similiar to what the term originally referred to.

You start talking to most people about Twisty puzzles, and they have no idea what you are talking about. You make a comparison to a Rubik's cube, and they start understanding. I would argue that, to the average person, rubik's is well on its way to becoming a generic trademark and has already achieved such standing de facto with Seven Towns' efforts being all that stand in the way of it achieving such status de jure. Reading though some of the examples listed on Wikipedia, I would not even known what to call some of those things if I had to avoid the Trademark the original version was released under.

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:00 am 
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Just call it a "Rooby Xkyoob" :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:50 am 
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I've often wondered just what is the "Rubik Era"? Is it from 1978 to today (and beyond)?


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:21 pm 
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One more think. Why there is a category on Ebay "Rubik's puzzles"? I know the answer. Because Ebay knows the twisty puzzles as Rubik puzzles.

But can you find the Matchbax from the menu? I cannot.... I think it's difficult...

All of puzzles inspired by Ernő Rubik.

I think, I will write: Inspired by Rubik Ernő from Hungary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:29 pm 
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The people said in Hungary: Rubik babylon tower, Rubik hungarian rings, Rubik UFO, Rubik Magellan......etc.
But, as you know well, these are not Rubik puzzles.


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 Post subject: Re: EBay violation
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:42 am 
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csete wrote:
One more think. Why there is a category on Ebay "Rubik's puzzles"? I know the answer. Because Ebay knows the twisty puzzles as Rubik puzzles.

Very good point.

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