The Danish toymaker Lego A/S has won a case against certain Bela-branded Lego look-alike products in the China Shantou Intermediate People's Court.
The company announced Dec. 7 that the court had passed a ruling in September stating that the products infringed upon the copyrights of Lego Group and that the manufacturing and selling of those products constituted “acts of unfair competition.”
The case, which was Lego's first “anti-unfair competition” filing in China, was against two Chinese companies for making and selling Bela products that were “almost identical” to those of Lego.
Effective as of November, the court ruled that the two Chinese companies must stop copying the packaging and logos of Lego products in the future.
Lego has a “distinctive and unique appearance of certain decorative aspects of its packaging” to make its products immediately recognizable, entitling it to protection under the Chinese anti-unfair competition law, the court decided.
According to Lego, the case related to its Lego Friends brand.
“We see [the ruling] as a strong indication of the continued focus on proper intellectual property protection and enforcement by the Chinese courts and responsible authorities,” said Peter Thorslund Kjær, vice president of legal affairs for Lego.
He also encouraged the development of a “favorable business environment” for all companies operating in the Chinese market.