Despite a court ruling in November, a Chinese company called Lepin has been continuing to produce copies of Lego products that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Chinese police have now lost patience with the firm and, in a raid on the company’s workshop, have arrested four people suspected of being behind a massive Lego counterfeiting operation, reports the BBC.
Up until now, toys worth around 200 million kroner have been produced at a factory in Shenzhen in southern China, and the bricks have been sold all over the country.
Not a game for children
Lepin has been producing the copies using Lego’s blueprints, and the boxes and artwork are almost identical except for the odd spelling mistake. Copies of some Lego ‘Star Wars’ products are labelled ‘Star Wnrs’ on the Lepin box and instructions.
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Back in November a court in the city of Guangzhou in the Yuexiu district ruled that four companies had “enfringed the Lego Group’s copyright and wrongfully distorted competition by distributing building bricks of the Lepin brand”.
The court also ordered the companies to cease the production, distribution and sale of these products immediately and pay Lego around 4.3 million kroner in compensation for loss of earnings.