20 Jan 2020 – In the latest update to the ongoing legal battle between LEGO and Lepin(a copycat brick company), the Guangzhou Intellectual Property court have ruled a final decision in favour of LEGO and upheld all 18 copyright infringements previously charged to Shantou Meizhi Model Co., Ltd, owners of the Lepin copycat brick company back in Oct/Nov 2018. This final decision is the result of the appeal done by Shantou Meizhi Model Co., Ltd, against the original ruling.
Basic chain of events
Oct 2018 – Court ruling against Shantou Meizhi Model Co., Ltd,
April 2019 – Shantou Meizhi Model Shenzhen Factory Raid by Shanghai Police
Jan 2020 – Final decision against Shantou Meizhi Model Co., Ltd,
“Customize Minifigures Intelligence” has done a pretty in-depth write up about the current situation on those copycat brick companies a month ago which is worth a read.
Photos and report below were released by the Shanghai police in April 2019 after the factory raid and investigation (as translated by Google)
In October 2018, the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Economic Investigation Corps found in its work that the “Lego” building blocks assembled on the market are extremely similar to the “Lego” toys and are suspected of infringing the copyright of the “Lego” brand. , Soon locked a criminal gang headed by Li. Upon investigation, the criminal suspect Yu Mou and others opened a design company in Shenzhen and engraved the “Lego” building block toy 1: 1 into a design drawing and handed it to Li.
The criminal suspect, Li, registered the “Lepin” trademark in the name of “Longjun Toy Factory”, and made molds into injection molding machines for mass production according to “Lego” toy design drawings, which were then sold throughout the country. On April 23, with the cooperation of the police in Shantou, Shenzhen and other places in Shanghai, the Shanghai Police successfully destroyed this criminal gang suspected of infringing the copyright of the “Lego” brand, arrested 4 suspects led by Li, and destroyed production and packaging 3 warehouses and warehouses, more than 10 assembly lines, more than 90 production molds, nearly 200,000 manuals, more than 200,000 packaging boxes, and more than 630,000 finished “Lepin” toys, involving more than 200 million yuan.
The product descriptions, schematic diagrams, and packaging of “Lego” toys are copyrighted and protected by law. “Lepin” is for profit-making purposes, and is copied and produced without authorization. The amount of illegal income is huge and has constituted a criminal offense.
The Shanghai police successfully cracked the case, fully demonstrating the confidence and determination of the public security organs in cracking down on intellectual property infringement crimes, effectively safeguarding the creative and intellectual achievements of enterprises, and effectively deterring criminals who attempt to make profits through plagiarism and low prices.
Currently, four criminal suspects, including Li, Yu, Du, and Yan, have been criminally detained in accordance with the law, and the case is still under investigation.Shanghai Police Weixin