Lego wins first copyright case against China copies

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Lego fiercely protects its copyright over its famous coloured toy bricks and figurines

Lego says it has won a landmark copyright case in China against rival products almost identical to its famous coloured toy bricks.

It is the first time the Danish toymaker has won a competition case against Chinese copycats.

The imitation products were manufactured under the name Bela and were sold by two Chinese companies.

The victory follows an earlier ruling that Lego's name and logo are well-known trademarks in China.

Peter Thorslund Kjær, vice president of legal affairs in the Lego Group, said the latest ruling was "a strong indication of the continued focus on proper intellectual property protection and enforcement by the Chinese courts".

"We think this is very important for the continued development of a favourable business environment for all companies operating in the Chinese market."

The court ruling was issued in September but did not take effect until November when the appeal window ended.

Media caption,
Lego copycats fool China boss

Firms making copycat versions have been a big problem for Lego as some of them are so convincing even Lego's China boss could not tell them apart when tested by the BBC earlier this year.

With sales falling in the US and Europe, the company has been looking to increase revenue in new markets, particularly in Asia.

Lego sees China as having "massive upside potential" and has shown it will fiercely protect its brand.

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