Lego wins its first copyright case in China - SupChina

Lego wins its first copyright case in China

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter.

Lego, the brand name manufacturer of children’s building blocks, has won its first intellectual property rights case in China.

  • Bloomberg reports that a Shantou court ruled that “products under the name Bela, sold by two Chinese companies, infringed upon Lego’s copyrights.”
  • Lego had complained that two Chinese companies had been manufacturing and selling products that were “almost identical” to its own (see Lego statement).
  • In July, a Beijing court passed a ruling recognizing the Lego logo and its name in Chinese (乐高, known as Lè Gāo 乐高 or “happy tall”) as “well-known” trademarks in China. This is important in China, where prior use of a copyright does not protect a company’s right to use it.
  • If you’re a Lego geek, you can see comparisons between the original and knockoff products from Bela on many YouTube channels.

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.