This morning the LEGO Community Engagement team posted the following announcement to Recognized LEGO User Groups (RLUGs):
Dear RLUG Ambassadors,
We would like to confirm that the LEGO Group have recently filed civil actions in China against the manufacturer and distributor of LEPIN/?? branded construction toys. Our cases have been accepted by Chinese courts and are now pending for trials. We expect the 1st instance decision to be handed down in approximately one years’ time. Please note that LEPIN will not be legally barred from marketing and selling its products while the case is being heard by the courts.
We deeply appreciate and share the LEGO community’s concern and frustration about passing-off or imitation of LEGO® products. We are committed to do whatever necessary to protect the LEGO brand and products against undue exploitation, and to minimize the risk of consumers being misled via improper use of LEGO Group intellectual property assets.
We want to thank all of you for your loyalty and support. Please feel free to share this message.
On behalf of the LEGO Group,
I’ve been aware of LEPIN for some time. They spend a considerable amount of time and money cloning popular LEGO sets and selling them for about 50% off. They print the same stickers and even boxes, replacing the word LEGO with LEPIN in all places. Notice though on the box above, the “movie” is STAR WNRS. What?
It’s an interesting case. Obviously the Chinese brand is infringing on LEGO and Disney/Star Wars along with any other property they clone, but it’s a case in a Chinese court which adds some degree of risk for LEGO. Chinese courts have a history of siding with the Chinese company in similar cases.
Since it’s going to take a year before LEGO expects a verdict, we aren’t holding our breath for anything to change.