Lego wins its first copyright case in China - SupChina

Lego wins its first copyright case in China

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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.

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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.