Remember Lepin, the Chinese Lego lookalike that recently had its trademark cancelled after a long battle with Lego lawyers (that’s lawyers for Lego, not lawyers made from Lego, sadly)? It’s in the news again after having its warehouses raided.
Shanghai Police posted on the Chinese social network Weibo that they’ve raided no less than three Lepin warehouses and arrested four people, including the company boss, a Mr Li.
Says the translated Weibo post:
“On April 23, with the cooperation of police in Shantou and Shenzhen, the Shanghai police successfully destroyed the criminal gang suspected of infringing the copyright of the “Lego” brand, arrested four suspects headed by Li, and smashed production and packaging.
3 warehouses, more than 10 assembly lines, more than 90 production moulds, nearly 200,000 manuals, more than 200,000 packaging boxes, more than 630,000 finished products, more than 200 million yuan.”
200 million yuan is about £23,000,000 – apparently fake Lego is big business.
The police also included some images of the infringing products, which not only look exactly like Lego products, but even have their own versions of lines like the Lego Movie 2, Lego Star Wars and Lego Cities:
Is this the end of Lepin? We thought we’d already seen that when the trademark was cancelled, but with sums like £23m at stake, we wouldn’t be surprised if it raises its little yellow head again before this saga is over.