Overzealous claims and enforcement of IP rights not only peril creativity and innovation but may also threaten a community and its cultural practices. This article highlights this issue through a case-study of the Rubik’s Cube, which is protected by a thicket of intellectual property rights. Its owners and licensees have enforced their rights relentlessly over the past decades, which in turn, threatens the speedcubing community which prefers to use rival puzzles which are superior to Rubik’s own cubes but are nevertheless deemed by Rubik’s to be mere pirated copies. This article’s approach is two-pronged: it scrutinises Rubik’s IP claims closely, and it casts a spotlight on the potentially negative impact that Rubik’s IP claims has on the existence and future of speedcubing as a sport and cultural pursuit. Speedcubing is not just a hobby; it provides a supportive and inclusive space for children and young people. Rubik’s IP claims threatens this very space.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Intellectual Property Quarterly|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2021|