On April 23, Shanghai police raided factories belonging to Lepin, a Chinese toy manufacturer, accused of manufacturing counterfeit Lego products. The operation led to the arrest of four victims suspected to be part of a counterfeit ring which produced $30 million worth of counterfeit Lego.
According to the police statement published on Chinese social media app, WeChat, the police said it had raided and closed down three of the group’s warehouses, including more than ten assembly lines and had seized nearly 200,00 manuals and 200,00 packaging boxes.
The pictures published with the statement reveals that imitation Star Wars-themed sets and more than 90 moulds was used to produce the toys.
“The Lego group welcomes healthy, fair competition as this benefits consumers, retailers and keeps us on our toes. However, we will always take whatever measures are necessary to protect consumers from being misled by misuse of the Lego brand and its trademarks,” Lego said.
The raid comes after Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court in China ordered Shantou Meizhi Model Co to pay Lego $650,000 in damages in November 2018 for copying 18 3D artworks for Lego sets and multiple Lego mini figures, along with carrying out unfair competition acts.