|Traded as||TSX: MB|
|Founded||1967 as Ritvik Toys, Inc.
2002 as Mega Bloks, Inc.
2006 as Mega Brands, Inc.
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Key people||Marc Bertrand, CEO
Vic Bertrand, COO
Mega Brands, Inc., formerly Mega Bloks, Inc., is a publicly traded Canadian children's toy company. Mega Bloks is the name of their most popular product, a line of construction set toys, with other brands including Mega Puzzles, Board Dudes and Rose Art. Mega Brands, Inc. distributes a range of toys, puzzles, and craft-based products.
In 1967, Victor Bertrand and his wife Rita founded the company as Ritvik Toys, Inc. (a portmanteau word based on a combination of Rita and Victor). Ritvik was amalgamated with Ritvik Holdings Inc. on June 30, 1998. On March 19, 2002, the name was changed from Ritvik Holdings Inc. to Mega Bloks, Inc. Currently, the founders' sons Vic Bertrand Jr. and Marc Bertrand are CIO and CEO, respectively.
On June 15, 2006, following the acquisition of several brand names not associated with construction brick toys, the company again changed its name, this time from Mega Bloks, Inc. to Mega Brands, Inc.
Mega Bloks were featured in a commercial for the Honda Element, in which countless bricks fell from the sky to assemble the full-sized vehicle. The commercial clearly identifies the bricks as Mega Bloks in the opening moments of the sequence.
Mega Brands currently has the rights for making Thomas the Tank Engine, Hello Kitty, the video game franchises Need for Speed, Halo and World of Warcraft, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Skylanders Giants, and starting late 2013, Call of Duty collector sets will be available
The LEGO Group has filed lawsuits against Mega Bloks, Inc. in courts around the world on the grounds that Mega Bloks' use of the "studs and tubes" interlocking brick system is a violation of trademarks held by LEGO. Generally such lawsuits have been unsuccessful, chiefly because the functional design of the basic brick is considered a matter of patent rather than trademark law, and all relevant LEGO patents have expired. In one of the most recent decisions, on November 17, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Mega Bloks' right to continue selling the product in Canada. A similar decision was reached by the European Union's Court of First Instance on November 12, 2008 when it upheld an EU trademark agency decision following an objection by Mega Bloks against a trademark awarded to LEGO in 1999.
On September 14, 2010, the European Court of Justice ruled that the 8-peg design of the original LEGO brick "merely performs a technical function [and] cannot be registered as a trademark".
- "Mega Bloks Selects Aras Innovator Version 7 to Build on Product Development Quality and Cost Performance; Leading Construction Toy Company Chooses Aras for Development Cost & Quality", Business Wire, July 25, 2005
- patent.gov.uk[dead link]
- Mega Bloks' Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada via CanLII.org
- "Lego loses trademark ruling in EU", nytimes.com, October 12, 2008
- General sources
- KIRKBI AG and LEGO CANADA INC. v. RITVIK HOLDINGS INC
- Mega Bloks Prospectus for 2002 share offering
- Press release. Link to the announcement of the agreement by which Mega Brands, Inc. began using software developed by Aras Corporation.
- Lego loses long EU trademark battle with Montreal's Mega Brands September 14, 2010 Montreal Gazette Business Blogs