Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Copenhagen, Denmark (4E) – The LEGO Group, the Danish firm that produces the colorful and iconic Lego plastic construction bricks, has won another copyright infringement lawsuit in China against Chinese copycats.
Lego bricks and its other toys are widely and illegally copied in China. The company said illegal copies of its colorful plastic toy bricks and figures are a never-ending problem in China.
In this latest ruling, the Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court ruled that four Chinese companies had “infringed multiple copyrights of the LEGO Group and conducted acts of unfair competition by producing and distributing LEGO building sets.”
The court ordered the companies to immediately cease “producing, selling, exhibiting or in any way promoting the infringing products.” LEGO was also awarded $649,735 in damages.
This is LEGO’s second court victory in as many years. In 2017, the Beijing Higher Court issued a ruling that recognized the LEGO logo and name in Chinese as well-known trademarks in China. This landmamrk ruling places LEGO in a better position to act against infringement of its trademarks.
“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,” said LEGO Chief Executive Niels B. Christiansen.
China is important to LEGO, which has seen slow or declining growth in its mature Western European and U.S. markets.
China accounts for less than 10 percent of group sales. The toys and games market in China is worth $31 billion. LEGO competitors in China include Mattel Inc (maker of Barbie)and Hasbro (My Little Pony).
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