In response to aggressive action by Rubik's, TheCubicle has put together a countersuit. Here's the explanation from Phil from TheCubicle, from his post on reddit.com/r/cubers :
This is Phil from TheCubicle. I'm posting here to give everyone an update on the legal situation with Rubik's Brand Limited.
On Friday, February 2, Cubicle Enterprises LLC has filed a lawsuit against Rubik’s Brand Limited seeking cancellation of four of its trademarks on the basis of utilitarian functionality, genericness, and fraud, as well as treble damages for various antitrust violations related to trademark misuse and attempted and actual monopolization. The suit also requests a declaratory judgment that TheCubicle has not violated Rubik’s purported federal and state trademark rights.
This controversy first arose in October 2017, when Rubik’s sued TheCubicle for trademark infringement, threatening to shut down its business and strip away its assets, effectively destroying the livelihoods of our employees and their ability to serve the community. A line of dialogue with Rubik’s was quickly opened in hopes of resolving the dispute productively and amicably. However, the painstakingly frustrating negotiations that followed made it clear that Rubik’s legal claims were unsubstantiated and dealing with Rubik’s was impossible.
It has also become clear that Rubik’s wants complete control of speedcubing and is willing to resort to bullying, intimidation, abuse of intellectual property law, and monopolistic tactics, including illegal tying activities, in its attempt to get it. We will not allow this to happen.
Rubik’s fails to see that our community is built on the bonds of friendship, trust, and the spirit of fair play. We grow together as cubers and people, and this is what makes our community special.
Our world of sharing ideas, helping each other as friends, and competing at our best under fair rules with our favorite cube products from sources chosen by cubers is something that should never be tainted by Rubik’s voracious greed to control and dominate.
We will not allow Rubik’s to leverage its invalid intellectual property, monopolistic demands, and other threats against its competitors to oppress us or limit the opportunities for expanding cubing, both for competitors and fans. We will not allow its attempt at perpetuating a monopoly to be successful. And, we will not allow the shadow of Rubik’s to loom over us anymore.
For these reasons, we took action in Federal court to stop Rubik’s from threatening our company and the survival of its business operations, our community, and the market.
We cannot thank our community enough for its support and understanding. The past few months have been extremely challenging, and we are beyond appreciative of the overwhelming support and expressions of solidarity from everyone around us.
We tried to settle this on reasonable terms with Rubik’s, but it became apparent that Rubik’s was not bargaining in good faith and that it was necessary to protect our community through this litigation. We are confident in the strength of our legal claims against Rubik’s, and will continue to do our best in this difficult situation. We look forward to representing the cubing community’s interests.
A copy of our complaint: https://thecubicle.us/Info/ECF1_Complaint.pdf Accompanying exhibits: https://thecubicle.us/Info/ECF1_Complaint_Exhibits.zip YouTube video: https://youtu.be/A11ggIu6n8E
Also just recently, the Rubik's Brand/Red Bull tournament has announced their first event. This tournament would be the first of its kind after Rubik's failed attempt to reach some sort of agreement with the WCA. Several other dates in other locations have been planned. Similarly to TheCubicle, the WCA was not amenable to what they perceived as strongarm tacticts to take over competitive cubing and chose not to work with Rubik's and Red Bull on these events.