Lego wins another intellectual property case in China

By: Shahrzad Pourriahi

November 9, 2018

Danish toymaker Lego A/S has won a major case against four companies for infringing “multiple copyrights” of its building sets under the Lepin brand in China.

The win is the latest in the toymaker’s legal battle against Lego lookalikes over the past two years.

Based on the Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court’s decisions, the four defendants, Shantou Meizhi Model Co., et al, are liable for copying the three-dimensional artworks of 18 Lego sets, multiple Lego Minifigures, as well as for carrying out unfair competition acts.

The defendants have been ordered to “immediately cease” producing, selling, exhibiting or in any way promoting the infringing products, and to pay Lego RMB 4.5m (€570,000) in damages, Lego said in a statement on Nov. 6.

“We believe these decisions are well-founded in the facts and the law, and clearly demonstrate the continued efforts of Chinese authorities to protect intellectual property,” Lego CEO Niels Christiansen said in response to the court decision.

These rulings, he went on to say, send “a clear warning message” to other companies that may be copying Lego products.

Over the past two years, the Lego has secured two major legal victories in China. In October 2017, the Danish group won a case at Shantou Intermediate Court against Chinese-based Bela for manufacturing and marketing products similar to Lego Friends brand.

In another case decided earlier in July 2017, the Lego logo and the Lego word mark were officially recognized by the Beijing Higher Court as a “well-known” trademark in China.