Everything has a day of reckoning, and I guess Lepin is now in the threshold of their own. After the LEGO Group’s legal win against Lepin last year prohibiting the latter to package their fake LEGO products using dubiously similar box arts, The LEGO Group scores another win against the makers of Lepin and other similar companies when the Chinese legal courts now declared that the manufacture of these fake LEGO sets are considered illegal in the Chinese region. In a recent report submitted by TLG, the court’s decision represents “another significant legal victory in China for the LEGO Group in its battle against imitators over the past two years.” This successful lawsuit against Lepin, or specifically to Shantou Meizhi Model Co. and 3 other defendants, marks a triumph not only for The LEGO Group, but also to millions of LEGO fans around the world who trust the LEGO brand.
According to the court’s decision, the four defendants are to “immediately cease producing, selling, exhibiting or in any way promoting the infringing products”. On top of that, Lepin’s manufacturer and the rest of the defendants are too pay TLG 4.5 million RMB, approximately equal to $650,000 USD.
According to LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen, “We welcome the court’s ruling. We believe these decisions are well-founded in the facts and the law, and clearly demonstrate the continued efforts of Chinese authorities to protect intellectual property. It also shows the authorities’ commitment to creating a fair business environment for all companies operating in China. The court’s decisions state that the LEPIN manufacturer and sellers must immediately cease copying the 18 LEGO sets that have been found protectable by the court. These rulings send a clear warning message to other companies who may be copying LEGO products. We will continue to take all necessary legal actions to protect our intellectual property rights.”
Lepin has been notorious in copying many of LEGO’s themed and licensed sets – they’re so good in imitating LEGO products that they can quickly come up with a counterfeit set even before the release date of a certain LEGO product. This is true, especially with the recent LEGO Star Wars Betrayal at Cloud City (75222) set. They’ve also shown an acute sense of insensitivity in lifting certain designs from AFOLs and rebrand them as their own. Now that this recent lawsuit against Lepin has been finally decided, I hope that this will send a very clear message to other manufacturers of fake LEGO products. If you wish to find out more about these manufacturers and their counterfeit LEGO sets, check out this report on Chinese LEGO knock-off brands right here.
In this day and age, the public’s perception on anything and everything can come a long way towards the formation of opinions. Statistically gauging the reputation levels of businesses, organizations and even nations has been the work of the private research and advisory agency the Reputation Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recently, the Reputation Institute conducted a survey to determine who among Europe’s most reputable companies is considered first among the countries of the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. A total of 87,000 general public respondents from those nations provided the data mined by RI.
According to the Reputation Institute’s “RepTrak” rankings, Denmark’s The LEGO Group is the company with the highest public reputation in the EU5. It’s followed on the list by German industrial firm Bosch GmbH and Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex. The response to the survey on reputation is a measure of an everyday person’s “emotional bond” with a company that is quantified.
The RepTrak survey is the RI’s standardized framework that “reveals how this deep connection can drive supportive behaviour such as the intent to purchase, likelihood to recommend and willingness to work for the company” according to the Institute’s press release.
For completion’s sake, we will now include a Top 10 list of Europe’s Most Reputable Companies in 2018 as compiled by the Reputation Institute.
- Walt Disney Company
LEGO’s stellar corporate-level reputation according to RI is due to “commitment to building a strong corporate brand, investment in corporate social responsibility and a deep sense of purpose to drive greater levels of engagement among its key stakeholders.” Despite some hiccups in its recent earning reports, LEGO does just that.
There are always many ways to tackle a problem or accomplish an objective, and The LEGO Group has a variety of approaches under its umbrella to promote its message of learning through play, such as with LEGO Foundation. This educational branch of LEGO has been looking for a new Global Director of Play, and they found him in the Scottish Highlands.
Ollie Bray, age 40, has been serving as head teacher for the Kingussie High School since five years ago, where he had set aside the regular curriculum for the 450-student institution for “joyful” project-based learning. But now LEGO Foundation is counting on him copy his success to everywhere in the world the LEGO Foundation reaches, as the foundation’s new Global Director of Play.
In his new job, Bray will find himself overseeing the LEGO Foundation’s global initiatives that seek to accomplish one of the brand’s most important points: connecting play with education.
According to him, “Learning through play is widely accepted in the early years and my job will be to find ways of extending it by incorporating it into the curriculum for older children.” This aligns with LEGO Foundation’s prevailing idea that current educational practices put “an outdated emphasis on standardized testing and rote learning” that prepares its students for the world “yesterday”, not today or tomorrow.
But Ollie Bray also opines that what education and learning needs is much less “fun” and more “enjoyment”; fun can potentially be without purpose, while adding joy to the purpose of education motivates students to identify problems and solve them.
And it seems other institutions, inspired by LEGO, are jumping into the “learning with play” bandwagon. The year before, the prestigious Cambridge University took on its first “Professor of Play”, Paul Ramchnadani, thanks to funding provided by the LEGO Foundation.
Source: The Guardian
We’ve seen LEGO being used in realms well outside simple play, from building scientific equipment to being used to rally charitable donations. Now, it’s finding use in the UK, particularly in the west of England, to draw public attention to a growing problem: skill gap between recruits and available work.
Certain jobs net a particular set and level of skills gained from education or training, and the sad thing is, 70% of businesses in western England – almost three-fourths – have problems hiring employees to fill vacancies because the labor pool tends to lack in skilled workers. Bristol is such a case.
Skill West, a business advice outfit, has decided to launch a public campaign in the city to increase public awareness on skills gap that results in large numbers of job vacancies due to under and non-qualification. They’re using LEGO minifigures of people in various professions as part of the “Find Your New Recruit” encouragement drive.
In line with this, Skills West is scattering work-themed LEGO minifigures in famous landmarks of Bristol. Any worker or business owner who finds these LEGO minifigures can take them back to their workplaces, snap a photo of the minifigure inside their offices, and post the pictures on Twitter under hash-tag #pledgeyoursupport.
Selfies of the “Find Your New Recruit” campaign minifigures will be entered into an online raffle, with winning employees/employers to be treated to an “experience day” courtesy of Skills West and their partners. The organization head Nicky Williams states that west England is in a low-unemployment rate period similar to 1975; he says that while good, in the long run that situation “intensifies the problems local businesses are having when it comes to finding skilled people to join their team.”
Experiences being discussed for “Find Your New Recruit” include trade apprenticing, on-the-job-training for students and career fairs. Williams hopes the campaign gets local businesses to offer these activities which Skills West will then match to individual jobseekers or employment organizations.
Source: Bristol Live
With the rise of social media as a tool for online mass communication over the past decade or so, came the prominence of social media influencers, celebrities with large online followings who are then courted by major companies to advertise their goods, in return getting paid with cash or free products.
Even LEGO gets into this social influencers action, which is why The Drum, a marketing industry website, has called upon it and four other big-brand companies to say their two cents on the latest social media scandal of an influencer campaign gone wrong, according to comments.
UK-based influencer Scarlett Dixon (@ScarlettLondon) posted an Instagram promo for Listerine last August 31, which was eventually bashed by critical commenters for its “obviously staged” and “fake” styling. One heckler even mentioned how they wanted Scarlett to “step on a LEGO” for her “forced acting”.
To this little bit of controversy, The LEGO Group’s Director of Social Media and Search Lars Silberbauer noted that such flare-ups don’t, as detractors claim, herald the death of social media influencers as an advertising force. Rather, the whole model is undergoing an adjustment period. Despite hiccups, he says “It doesn’t change the fact that millions and millions of people all around the world are following and taking inspiration from Influencers.”
Silberbauer also made mention that LEGO also entrusts some influencing campaigns to The Drum to hype their various LEGO products. And recently, the company’s put an ad out for a new Social Influence Manager to work on YouTube. All in all, despite the nightmare unleashed on @ScarlettLondon for her Listerine post, she and her fellow social media influencers still remain…influential.
Not so long ago, the LEGO news community – us included – shed a collective spotlight on the rise of some very suspicious fake LEGO shopping sites online. The insidious thing about these LEGO marketplaces are either their aping of the official shop.LEGO.com web design or the unbelievably low prices on offer.
We at The Brick Show have joined our contemporaries in telling all LEGO fans and collectors who read our news to stay away from these fake LEGO shopping sites. And now, our voices are being joined by the final authority in these things, The LEGO Group itself, in the form of an official statement about these posers.
LEGO’s word on the matter:
We are aware of the existence of websites that mislead consumers in different ways and we take all of these incidents very seriously. While we cannot comment on our specific actions, what we can say is that when we are made aware of or observe any situation where consumers are misled and our intellectual rights are violated we always take the appropriate actions to protect consumers as well as our brand.
We believe that consumers should always be aware of when they are purchasing a genuine LEGO product and when they purchase something else – and they should not be misled during the process of purchase.
We are aware that it may be difficult to identify a fake website, but if in doubt, consumers can be certain that the official LEGO shop on www.shop.LEGO.com is genuine.
Remember, shop.LEGO.com and trusted market platforms like Amazon are the only online places you can be sure to buy and get genuine LEGO sets at the right prices. As a rule of thumb, if the prices mentioned in any of these questionable, fake LEGO shopping sites are too good to be true, then they’re probably are. Making your purchases over LEGO Shop@Home and Amazon via our affiliate links also helps legit, LEGO-oriented blog sites such as ours to be up and running.
Yes, everyone wants the most out of their hard-earned bucks, but the investment that you will put on genuine LEGO sets will ensure that you receive a true product guaranteed to last years of play.