The LEGO Group announced 7. December that they have received a favorable decision from China Shantou Intermediate People’s Court in September, holding that certain BELA products overstepped the copyrights of the LEGO Group and that manufacturing and selling of those products were acts of unfair competition.
It is the first time the LEGO Group has filed and won an anti-unfair competition case against imitators in China.
The case was filed against two Chinese companies, which had been manufacturing and selling products that were almost identical to LEGO products. The decisions come into effect in November 2017.
The court decided that the two Chinese companies must stop copying the packaging and logos of LEGO products in the future, as this constitutes copyright infringement. The court also decided that the LEGO Group enjoys protection under Chinese anti-unfair competition laws for the distinctive and unique appearance of certain decorative aspects of its packaging across certain product lines (in this case, LEGO Friends), which serves the purpose of making consumers immediately recognize and associate the products with the LEGO Group.
“We are pleased with the ruling by Shantou Intermediate People’s Court, which we see as a strong indication of the continued focus on proper intellectual property protection and enforcement by the Chinese courts and responsible authorities. We think this is very important for the continued development of a favorable business environment for all companies operating in the Chinese market,” Peter Thorslund Kjær, Vice President, Legal Affairs in the LEGO Group, said.
Furthermore, Peter Thorslund Kjær assured that they will continue to ensure that people are able to make informed choices when they are buying toy products, so they are not misled by toy products, appearing as something that they are not.