We’ve recently talked about how The LEGO Company has managed to gain a significant security measure for their intellectual property in China, with the awarding of the “well-known trademark” distinction. This meant that they have gained greater leeway in pursuing instances of copyright infringement regarding knockoff products in that country.
They might just be getting their first significant challenge to their well-known trademark status. Earlier this year, Chinese toy company Xingbao, created a lot of buzz within the LEGO community when it announced its own line of LEGO-imitation sets based on the designs of some prominent international LEGO AFOLs, who willingly sold several their MOCs to be converted into packaged Xingbao model building kits.
It’s bad enough that Xingbao is under the umbrella of Meizi Model, the same Chinese business conglomerate that owns Lepin, another LEGO copycat manufacturer that LEGO has taken to court over their blatant replicas of their official products.
However, Xingbao has taken the blatant imitation on a whole new level when it created a web page that allows their customers to submit customized MOCs in hope of seeing them become official sets. It’s called Xingbao Ideas and yes, it sounds like LEGO Ideas.
As can be seen from the screenshot above, the Xingbao Ideas website lets the public upload their own Xingbao brick builds in the hope that they garner enough interest and approval from members to convince the company that an official set from the idea is viable for sales.
Some of the submissions come from actual LEGO AFOLs, although the website’s layout and Chinese language make it difficult to determine how well a submitted design is doing towards becoming an official set. The similarities to LEGO Ideas is quite plain to see, however, and time will tell on when the company will take action on this.