LEGO wins first copyright court case in China

The LEGO Group has received a favourable decision from China Shantou Intermediate People’s Court holding that certain BELA products infringed upon the copyrights of the LEGO Group.

The ruling stated that manufacturing and selling of those products constituted acts of unfair competition and marks the first time that 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 and the court decided that the firms must stop copying the packaging and logos of LEGO products in the future.

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 particular product lines (in this case, LEGO Friends), which serves the purpose of making consumers recognise and associate the products with LEGO.

“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,” said Peter Thorslund Kjær, vice president, legal affairs in the LEGO Group.

“We think this is very important for the continued development of a favourable business environment for all companies operating in the Chinese market. We will continue our efforts to ensure that parents and children are able to make informed choices when they are buying toy products, and that they are not misled by attempts by irresponsible companies to make toy products appear as something that they are not.”

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