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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 898
    Wolfie242 said:
    And now Lego gets sued by a patent troll....http://www.lawdit.co.uk/reading-room/lego-patent-suit-infringement
    Hmm... there are rumors that TLG is ending the Dimensions theme, mabe this has something to do with it?
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,251
    Recce said:
    Wolfie242 said:
    And now Lego gets sued by a patent troll....http://www.lawdit.co.uk/reading-room/lego-patent-suit-infringement
    Hmm... there are rumors that TLG is ending the Dimensions theme, mabe this has something to do with it?
    I very much doubt it, this sounds more like one of those bogus companies that files very vague practically meaningless patents, with the hope that someone makes something that sounds like what they were talking about, so they can sue them for patent infringement & make a fortune if they win.
    stluxSprinkleOtter
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 478
    ^ hopefully they learn that they knocked at the wrong door this time :P

    VorpalRyu
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,251
    ^ hopefully they learn that they knocked at the wrong door this time :P

    These kind of companies usually end one of three ways, they eventually send themselves broke trying to pursue these frivolous lawsuits, they realise that it is an expensive business practice & get out of the game, or they succeed & get rich. The first is the most common, the second is rare & the third, hen's teeth are more common.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,922
    I have no words for this one ...
    VorpalRyuVortexCaptainLego
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,251
    GOLD! But more like Stuperheroes rather than Superheroes...
    SprinkleOtter
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,885
    That figure has way better hair. 
    VorpalRyuTheOriginalSimonBSprinkleOtterdatsunrobbie
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    Supervillian?
    datsunrobbie
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,251
    Don't insult Loki, Dr Doom, Magneto, Kang, etc...


    stluxSprinkleOtterxiahna
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,398
    They should have used an orange head.
    pharmjodVorpalRyuSprinkleOtterSumoLegobuildalotClutchPower
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,885
    Or at least medium dark flesh.
    VorpalRyu
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,609
    Looks like fake news to me
    VorpalRyupharmjoddavetheoxygenmanBumblepantsClutchPower
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,484
    CCC said:
    Got my fake Lester. The hands are way off colour, but easily replaceable. Not bad for 58p, when there is no way I would pay the going rate for the genuine article (especially as I want to use it), or £20 for a custom one printed on genuine lego. I think I'll keep the torso only and replace the rest of the parts with genuine lego.

    Where from?
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 476
    pharmjod said:
    That figure has way better hair. 
    More intelligent, too.
    SprinkleOtterVorpalRyuBumblepantsClutchPower
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    Bobflip said:
    pharmjod said:
    That figure has way better hair. 
    More intelligent, too.
    Bigger hands.
    VorpalRyuSumoLegoBumblepantspharmjodbuildalotClutchPower
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,025
    And the tie is too short.

    It has to completely cover his belt buckle, horrifying people that wear suits and ties on a regular basis.

    http://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/news/a52427/donald-trump-tie-length/

    stluxBumblepantsMaffyDSprinkleOtterClutchPower
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,922
    ^^^^ aliexpress
    TheFew
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,565
    ^^ Never seen that before, @sumolego - how can he make them that long? He's emulating our very own Boris Johnson: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38200283
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,219
    It's actually worse than that: if you read the follow-up article linked to in the one @SumoLego posted, you learn that he uses *tape* to hold his tie together...
    SumoLego
  • legobodlegobod CA USAMember Posts: 213
    CCC said:
    I have no words for this one ...

    What is that hideous thing! And why have they made a minifigure of it!
    Can we build a Lego wall to keep that minifig out?
    VorpalRyu
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    I wouldn't want that Trump LEGO even if my Mexican neighbor paid for it.
    VorpalRyu
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    blogzilly said:
    I wouldn't want that Trump LEGO even if my Mexican neighbor paid for it.
    I don't know... I think I could get some enjoyment out of it.


  • ScatterbugScatterbug WalesMember Posts: 109
    edited April 2017
    Not sure if this news is legit but apparently Xing Bao are going to be licensing (among others) Arvo Brothers' designs. Presume this will be the Akira bike and Alien. Hopefully, they'll do some of their classic cars.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,885
    That will be interesting if correct. I'd actually love to see some prominent MOCers work work lepin or other manufacturers to get some of their sets made. Especially sets that have no chance of being made by LEGO. I have a LEGO Arvo Brothers Xenomorph but depending on the quality of the product I'd consider selling it and buying the knockoff if it was indeed sanctioned by the Arvo Brothers.
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 898
    I think this is a good move for the designers, since TLG shuts them out, they can look elsewhere for fans to acknowledge their works and made into products people can buy and at the same time get royalty payment.
    pharmjoddatsunrobbieJern92ClutchPower
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 732

    Recce said:

    I think this is a good move for the designers, since TLG shuts them out, they can look elsewhere for fans to acknowledge their works and made into products people can buy and at the same time get royalty payment.


    Lego isn't "shutting them out" of anything, though. They aren't entitled to a company they aren't a part of producing or selling their creations. And they're well within their rights to sell the instructions to their MOCs, or even the completed sets using secondhand parts (so long as they don't use Lego's own branding to promote these sets in a way that implies that they're official sets).

    While this kind of partnership would obviously be better on the part of the creators than having their creations stolen outright, it still strikes me as a little skeevy for self-professed Lego fans to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with companies that are in direct competition with Lego and profit off the theft of their designs.
    MAGNINOMINISUMBRAstluxBumblepantsVorpalRyuAllBricklentilcatwranglerClutchPowerelspankdog
  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 992
    I'll take "How to make the Akira bike even flimsier for 100?"

    "What is clone brand elements"

    But seriously...
    Can we also assume that licensing deals have been signed with Katsuhiro Atomo and 20th Century Fox/Giger? 
     Between TLG and the creators of the source material, this almost feels like double (maybe triple) dipping in the IP theft department.
    SprinkleOtterstluxKevin_HyattBumblepantsVorpalRyuAllBrickchuckpbuildalotClutchPower
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,468
    ^I agree about the infringement issue for the Akira bike and Alien, not so much about it being flimsier.

    Some of the clone brands have really stepped up their quality in recent years, and with the reports of crumbling cheese slopes and brown parts in general, LEGO is starting to look a little like Sears' Craftsman tools, relying on customer support to make up for a slip in quality.

    I recently picked up 3 sets from iifun that are similar to Mixels, primarily because they were $3 each and came in a "surprise egg" (grandson loves opening them up). I fully expected the contents to be garbage. The instructions were tiny, but usable with a magnifying glass. The designs were original, and the sets went together as well as any real LEGO set I have built. No idea how they will hold up over time. I no longer assume that bricks will be lower quality simply because they are not genuine LEGO. Most people I know are not really into LEGO, and use the name just like they use "Kleenex" for tissue. 

    pharmjod
  • ricecakericecake Maryland, USAMember Posts: 879


    Not sure if this news is legit but apparently Xing Bao are going to be licensing (among others) Arvo Brothers' designs. Presume this will be the Akira bike and Alien. Hopefully, they'll do some of their classic cars.


    After reading this I did a search and came across this article:
    http://www.brickfinder.net/2017/04/08/china-bricks-company-officially-making-afol-designed-sets/
    **UPDATE** It has come to light that the China bricks company
    Xingbao (星堡) is own by 美致模型 (Meizi Model) which is the same company that
    owns Lepin.  This essentially means that while one company, Xingbao,
    enlists the work of AFOL designers, the other, Lepin, just rips designs
    off wholesale.



  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,025
    edited April 2017
    VorpalRyu said:
    ...I'm an Adult Fan of LEGO, not an Adult Fan of Toy Construction Bricks...

    So, no Lincoln Log version of Agent Coulson and Lola?  Very disappointing.
    VorpalRyu
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 478

    ricecake said:





    Not sure if this news is legit but apparently Xing Bao are going to be licensing (among others) Arvo Brothers' designs. Presume this will be the Akira bike and Alien. Hopefully, they'll do some of their classic cars.




    After reading this I did a search and came across this article:
    http://www.brickfinder.net/2017/04/08/china-bricks-company-officially-making-afol-designed-sets/
    **UPDATE** It has come to light that the China bricks company

    Xingbao (星堡) is own by 美致模型 (Meizi Model) which is the same company that

    owns Lepin.  This essentially means that while one company, Xingbao,

    enlists the work of AFOL designers, the other, Lepin, just rips designs

    off wholesale.




    blacklists updated... no way they get support from my end...
    VorpalRyu
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 898

    ricecake said:





    Not sure if this news is legit but apparently Xing Bao are going to be licensing (among others) Arvo Brothers' designs. Presume this will be the Akira bike and Alien. Hopefully, they'll do some of their classic cars.




    After reading this I did a search and came across this article:
    http://www.brickfinder.net/2017/04/08/china-bricks-company-officially-making-afol-designed-sets/
    **UPDATE** It has come to light that the China bricks company

    Xingbao (星堡) is own by 美致模型 (Meizi Model) which is the same company that

    owns Lepin.  This essentially means that while one company, Xingbao,

    enlists the work of AFOL designers, the other, Lepin, just rips designs

    off wholesale.



    The BIG difference is Lepin did direct copies of models without any licencing agreement while Xingbao works with the designers and license from them.


  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,219
    Seems like Xingbao reached an agreement with the designers, but as I don't see any Studio Ghibli/Vespa/Mercedes/etc logo on any of those boxes, they still didn't get (or well, more likely totally ignored) the whole "getting all the proper licence agreements" thing.

    If they had obtained all the licences, this would have put them in the MB U.S.S. Enterprise category. Nice for people for whom that particular theme trumps it not being Lego.

    In this case it's just a fig leaf and they are still the same scummy company they were before. Very disappointed with the Arvo Brothers. This now ties their name to an unscrupulous company. Most likely Xingbao hopes this will give them an air of legitimacy.
    Kevin_HyattVorpalRyuSumoLegodbrougeLyichirAllBrickbuildalotcatwranglerClutchPower
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 478

    stlux said:

    Seems like Xingbao reached an agreement with the designers, but as I don't see any Studio Ghibli/Vespa/Mercedes/etc logo on any of those boxes, they still didn't get (or well, more likely totally ignored) the whole "getting all the proper licence agreements" thing.

    If they had obtained all the licences, this would have put them in the MB U.S.S. Enterprise category. Nice for people for whom that particular theme trumps it not being Lego.

    In this case it's just a fig leaf and they are still the same scummy company they were before. Very disappointed with the Arvo Brothers. This now ties their name to an unscrupulous company. Most likely Xingbao hopes this will give them an air of legitimacy.


    was thinking of getting their books earlier but after reading this "news" it was game over. They did some sort of heresy in my opinion.
    VorpalRyustlux
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,954
    edited April 2017
    This seems like a huge kick in the proverbials for every AFOL that purchased the instructions and went to the trouble (and considerable expense in some cases) to build the Arvo Brothers builds in LEGO, just to have it released as a (presumably) cheaper alternative. 
    VorpalRyu
  • scottdd2scottdd2 ADELAIDEMember Posts: 56

    Not sure how long it's been out but I noticed a Hot Wheels set that had building bricks "that can connect with your bricks at home"

  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,226

    stlux said:

    Seems like Xingbao reached an agreement with the designers, but as I don't see any Studio Ghibli/Vespa/Mercedes/etc logo on any of those boxes, they still didn't get (or well, more likely totally ignored) the whole "getting all the proper licence agreements" thing.

    If they had obtained all the licences, this would have put them in the MB U.S.S. Enterprise category. Nice for people for whom that particular theme trumps it not being Lego.

    In this case it's just a fig leaf and they are still the same scummy company they were before. Very disappointed with the Arvo Brothers. This now ties their name to an unscrupulous company. Most likely Xingbao hopes this will give them an air of legitimacy.


    For me I have no issue with AFOLs working with other construction toy companies, but I already had slight issues with the profiting off unlicensed IP stuff arvo bros we're doing anyway.

    Add into this the implication that Lepin and Xingbao are potentially actually part of the same company then I'd say Arvo Bros have really made a bad choice. If I was them I'd only sign an agreement with a company that I'd researched and had agreed to acquire the correct licence agreements with the IP owner.

    Signing with a company that has a connection with a company that had been openly stealing the work of other fans and potentially isn't doing the correct licensing deals is just going to cause a lot of bad feeling and put them at greater legal risk.
    stlux
  • ScatterbugScatterbug WalesMember Posts: 109

    bandit778 said:

    This seems like a huge kick in the proverbials for every AFOL that purchased the instructions and went to the trouble (and considerable expense in some cases) to build the Arvo Brothers builds in LEGO, just to have it released as a (presumably) cheaper alternative. 


    Nah. The base doesn't use a copy of element 2399 so lots of unsightly gaps. There's bound to be several other changes that make the model not quite so impressive as the original.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    An open letter:

    Nobody here really cares what you think on this subject. Nothing you say is going to sway anyone one way or another.

    Thank you,
    SumoLegogmonkey76Jern92
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,822
    Truth be told, a big worry for me in a scenario like this is that if it becomes more widespread, the LEGO Group may start to see AFOLs less as dedicated supporters of the brand and more as "competitors in the making", and thus cut down on programs and initiatives aimed at supporting us.
    LyichirBumblepantsVorpalRyucatwranglergmonkey76ClutchPower
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    Someone claimed a long time ago that Meizi Model was behind Lepin. AFAIK, there was never any proof.
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 535

    nhyone said:

    Someone claimed a long time ago that Meizi Model was behind Lepin. AFAIK, there was never any proof.


    I'm doing some junior sleuthing on the interwebs, it seems that there are a couple of sites that are making the claim. I'm trying to figure out what their source might be. It's hard to tell where the original claim came from but some new info came out yesterday.

    I found a facebook post from some gala dinner yesterday that was hosted by Xingbao (I think) and the person is claiming that the dinner plates had the Meizi Model logo side by side with the Xingbao logo. So the assumption is that Meizi Model is the parent of Xingbao, or they are working closely together in some way that isn't apparent. 

    Another site shows a number of other models that Xingbao is making, and it is more than just the Arvo Brothers. I found that info over on the Brick Fan site.

    From what I gather Meizi Model is going to copy your model if it is good, it's just a matter of if you want to get paid for your idea and have the model made by XingBao, or not get paid and have the model made by Lepin.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,295
    So on the article that @ricecake linked to above, it says:

    "In their stable of sets that was announced, they have included the Arvo Brother’s Alien and Kaneda’s Bike; Firas Munir Abu-Jaber‘s Rolls Royce Springfield Roadster, 2017 Volkswagen Beetle, Ford GT; Paul J Boratko III‘s Balisong; Bangoo and Yeom-E’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky music box."

    Given that Paul Boratko / @Crowkillers posts on here, maybe he can shed some light on whether this is accurate or not?
    stluxMAGNINOMINISUMBRA
  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 992
    Just goes to show that China really is another world.  What chance would a single company in Europe, the Americas or pretty much anywhere else BUT China have of successfully manufacturing anything that collectively breached the IP of Disney, TLG, 20th Century Fox, Mercedes, Vollswagen and Ford?  I'll give them one thing - they've got balls the size of planets!
    pharmjod
  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 992
    Ive been thinking about this over the last few days am trying to work out the angle.
      Is it just me or are all the products being released by Xiangbo, and apparently paying royalties to the set designers, based on other companies IP's (any issues with the bricks themselves aside)?
      It has also been revealed that Lepin have just released another (stolen) fan based MOC (though this is NOT based on an existing IP).
      I wonder if it could be effectively argued (and with the intricacies of Chinese copyright laws unknown to me) that all Xiangbo are doing is providing a brick system and manufacturing avenue for their designers?
      If so, could it not be said that Xisngbo are effectively doing absolutely nothing wrong but their greedy western designers are clearly breaching the IP of the companies on which the designers have based their models?
      There is no business reason whatsoever for Xiangbo to not follow the same practises as Lepin as far as theft of designs and breach of original IP goes.  Companies that don't have to spend money paying another party inside their business model WONT!
      I wonder if this is a way of the company attempting to 'pass on' the liability of IP theft to the designers in question?
      For the record - I'll laugh my arse off if it is!
    datsunrobbieJohnyk668
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,251
    @MAGNINOMINISUMBRA, I noticed that one of the pictures in the Brickset article, is of the Dream Car MOC, it's worth noting that the while the logo is shaped like a Ford badge, it doesn't say Ford. Considering that TLG have a licensing deal with Ford at the moment, it probably wouldn't interest Ford in a secondary licence deal for a commercially released MOC of the GT-40, but I would suspect that Ford will happily sue the hell out of the designer for breeching their trademarks, IPs, etc.

    What these MOC designers have to consider is that for most companies, going after the Chinese companies making the sets could end up put in the too hard basket, while the designers living outside of China will be the easier target, thus bear the brunt of the litigation. Whatever small financial gains they may get from Xingbao will probably be outweighed by legal fees & damages demanded of them by the courts...

    Short term thinking & flawed logic.
    Johnyk668catwranglerxiahna
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    We'll have to see how this plays out. Will the companies go after the designers directly?

    If it's Disney, the answer is yes. :-D

    My question is, in which country's court do they bring the case to? US, or China?
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,468
    I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me the designers are really exposing themselves personally to litigation if the IP rights are not handled properly. If they get all the legalities worked out, this looks like a great thing for the designers and consumers.

    It would be interesting to hear from the designers how the IP licensing is being handled, both for instructions they were selling as individuals and as part of the agreement they made with Xingbao. Ford or Disney could squish a few designers into poverty with minimal effort compared to the expense of suing a large corporation.
    MAGNINOMINISUMBRAdragonhawkClutchPower
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,219
    There's no logo's from the IP owners on the boxes we have seen in the pictures + e.g. "the Ford badge that is not a Ford badge" = there's no licence from the IP owners.

    IANAL, but there's a difference between selling some designs of an IP work as a hobby, and having a commercial product on the market. Xingbao could have approached designers for sets with no IP attached. I will not shed a tear if both Xingbao and these designers get sued. 
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