Lego A/S has won a new intellectual property lawsuit in China after a court agreed with the Danish toy manufacturer that local companies had copied its building blocks and miniature figures under the LEPIN brand.
The Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court ruled that the four defendants should immediately cease the production, sale and promotion of the toys and pay about 4.5 million yuan (US$650,000) in damages, Lego said in an emailed statement sent Monday.
Europe’s biggest toymaker, which is known for its aggressive use of the courts to protect its multicolored building blocks, had already secured two major legal victories in China last year. First, the Beijing Higher Court passed a ruling that recognizes the Lego logo and the name in Chinese as “well-known” trademarks in the country. Lego then also won its first Chinese copyright court case, when it defeated the makers of Bela products.
The LEPIN rulings “clearly demonstrate the continued efforts of Chinese authorities to protect intellectual property,” Lego Chief Executive Officer Niels B. Christiansen said in the statement. “We will continue to take all necessary legal actions to protect our intellectual property rights.”
Lego only identified Shantou Meizhi Model Co. among the four defendants.
By Christian Wienberg