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Lego gets Hamilton business to change name

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/04/2016

Lego's colourful bricks may be all fun and games, but when it comes to a Waikato business using its name, the company is serious business.

Lego New Zealand has this month taken Hamilton's The Lego Shop Ltd to the High Court in order to get the latter to stop using the brand's name without its permission.

Representing himself, Lego Shop owner Timothy Maxwell Townley told the court he was working on rebranding the shop as the "The Plastic Brickshop" but had some issue with Inland Revenue that had prevented the change.

But Lego's lawyers said they had contacted Mr Townley in June, 2015 to ask him to stop using the name and he was still doing so.

"I must say I do not accept that whatever difficulties there may be in this matter that it could have taken since June last year until the present time for the defendant to comply with what seem to be legitimate requests from Lego," Jan-Marie Doogue said in her decision.

She said she was "puzzled" why the process of changing the name had taken so long, and promptly approved an injunction to stop Hamilton business using the brand.

Lego's lawyers told the court the toy giant had no intention of chasing Mr Townley for damages.

Justice Doogue gave Mr Townley the chance to immediately stop using the name before the two parties talk over the $10,000 legal bill in May.

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