In the long and hard-fought war between The LEGO Group and various manufacturers producing copycat versions of their products, especially in China, one “brand name” stands out the most: Lepin. LEGO has focused its efforts on the Longjun Toys subsidiary, winning a significant copyright victory in Lepin’s home country, China. Now, the proceedings go international.
The next battlefield between The LEGO Group and Lepin is in the UK, where the latter had registered their trademark back in September 1, 2017. LEGO made its case to have the Lepin trademark invalidated with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) just last month.
Ultimately the UKIPO sided with LEGO’s argument and issued a cancellation order for the Lepin trademark last week, March 19. In addition to the cancelled trademark, Longjun Toys is now mandated to pay The LEGO Group £3,100 in litigation costs. That makes it two LEGO markets where Lepin is humbled.
As part of their argument for the trademark cancellation, LEGO submitted as evidence side-by-side image comparisons of certain LEGO sets with their Lepin copies as taken from Amazon. The most Longjun Toys did to contest the proceedings was a counterargument that their 2017 trademark registration doesn’t noticeably hurt LEGO’s market.
In its conclusion the UKIPO agreed that the similarities between the LEGO and Lepin trademark logos are deliberately similar. Furthermore, the purposeful copying by Lepin is construed as piggybacking on LEGO’s own product marketing. With their UK trademark cancelled, Longjun Toys might soon see its Lepin arm get crushed legally.