Shanghai, China – It has been nearly two and a half years since LEGO filed a civil lawsuit in China claiming a massive counterfeit operation being run by a company named Lepin, along with three other companie. Well, LEGO was happy to learn that the judge ruled in their favor.
Effective immediately, the defendants were ordered to pay around $670,000 in compensation and instructed to cease sales, promotion, and production of all offending items immediately.
For years Lepin has been producing bricks that, well you can see just from the packaging, is a total rip off of LEGO. On top of stealing the look and style of a LEGO brick, the counterfeits are also 100% LEGO-compatible, have figures that are identical and feature instructions and packaging that shows they really didn’t pay much for the imagination team. they made simple changes such as Star Plan and Lepin City instead of LEGO City. Original right?!
Well, clearly there was some sort of miscommunication. Or maybe they wanted to make one more knock-off before shutting it down. But it seems Lepin wasn’t ready to close.
Shanghai officials had to physically go to Lepin where they were met by employees wondering “what’s up”. They were able to confiscate 200,000 manuals, 200,000 retail boxes and almost 100 molds. There were also 630,000 packaged sets ready to be sent out to distributors. But to really show the scope of what they were up to authorities also “found” almost $30 MILLION in cash lying around. So clearly LEGO had every right to be upset. That’s a large chunk of change.
Shanghai police also arrested four suspects while collecting the goods and cash. After it was all done police proclaimed a victory against the counterfeiters and that they “destroyed the criminal gang and all the gang’s equipment.” Only time will tell for how long.