In a further signal to foreign businesses operating in China that the Chinese courts are willing to take a tough stance on IP infringement, Lego has won another IP claim in China.
The Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court ruled that Chinese companies had copied Lego building blocks and figures under the Lepin brand, and ordered the defendants to immediately cease the production, sale and promotion of the toys and to pay 4.5 million yuan ($650,000) in damages.
This follows earlier successes by Lego in the Chinese courts in 2017.
In its first success, Lego obtained a court declaration that the Lego logo and its name in Chinese were “well-known” trade marks in China.
Lego then won a claim against manufacturers and sellers of toys under the Bela brand, where the court found that the almost identical toys breached Lego’s copyright and that copying the distinctive and unique appearance of certain decorative aspects of Lego’s packaging across particular product lines constituted acts of unfair competition under Chinese anti-unfair competition laws. The court ordered that Lego packaging and logos must not be copied in future by manufacturers and sellers.