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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    edited June 2016
    @TigerMoth then what would you term a company like Lepin? And what would you term a true competitor like Megablocks?
    Atleast in the US, it's also enfringement if one tries to trade on consumer brand confusion.  A 'reasonable' consumer would probably not know the difference between a red-square 'Lepin' building set and a red-square 'LEGO' building set.

    The blatant appropriation of the box art would also lend to brand confusion.  Admittedly, the standard is closer to: 'I know it when I see it.'

    There is no doubt that Lepin is trading on brand confusion.  MegaBloks does not.

    'Counterfeit' is customarily something sold or provided with an element of fraud or deceit.  If someone handed you a $25.00 bill, you probably wouldn't take it.  However, if someone gives you a counterfeit $20.00, you probably wouldn't know.
    SprinkleOtterAanchirbandit778catwrangler
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 919
    prevere said:
    Let's see if they can successfully include the sound brick. Otherwise, it's not the Grand Carousel.

    Don't bet on it, I believe the Chinese companies are even better at copying small electronic gadgets, thanks to Apple. 
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 919
    edited June 2016
    SumoLego said:
    AllBrick said:
    Every time one of these sets is purchased, a minifigure dies.

    Worse yet, a Lego Unicorn looses a piece of rainbow hair!
    SumoLegoAllBrickbandit778ricecake
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    SumoLego said:
    ^ That's not hair.
    Foal-y s##t!
    AllBrickCoolguy5000davetheoxygenmandougtsOmastar
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,419
    It's better than that.
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 919
    SumoLego said:
    ^ That's not hair.
    Hair growing from areas where the sun doesn't shine? 
    brumeystluxSumoLegoOmastar
  • fleuryfleury Member Posts: 10
    With the arrival of these knock-offs of large Lego sets, can knock-offs of MOCs be far behind? Will the people who feel okay about buying a Lepin Grand Carousel also feel the same way about buying a Lepin Nautilus?
    https://ideas.lego.com/projects/59212

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,901
    ^I doubt there's a big enough market for that. These sellers are going for the quick buck. If this continues, they'll likely look at continuing to offer easy to copy sets that carry high aftermarket values. 
    pharmjod
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,874
    fleury said:
    With the arrival of these knock-offs of large Lego sets, can knock-offs of MOCs be far behind? Will the people who feel okay about buying a Lepin Grand Carousel also feel the same way about buying a Lepin Nautilus?
    https://ideas.lego.com/projects/59212
    There HAVE been knock-offs of MOCs before. I can't think of or find any specific examples but I remember seeing MOCists and minifigure customizers complaining about their designs being reproduced as knock-off products, and sharing pictures on other sites.
    MattDawson
  • fleuryfleury Member Posts: 10
    prevere said:
    ^I doubt there's a big enough market for that. These sellers are going for the quick buck. If this continues, they'll likely look at continuing to offer easy to copy sets that carry high aftermarket values. 

    But there are theoretically at least 10,000 people who want those rejected Ideas sets. If one of these companies decided to start work on sets once they reached 10,000, they could have them ready for market the day that Lego announces if something has passed review or not.


  • BlueAbarth500BlueAbarth500 LondonMember Posts: 18
    If they made a fake 10179, i'd probably buy it, not gonna lie.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    Nope. Those look like the LEGO pictures to me. Somebody else here posted the actual pictures from a Lepin figures look horrendous.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    If they made a fake 10179, i'd probably buy it, not gonna lie.
    Why?
    xwingpilotSumoLegoAllBricksnowhitie
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,912
    I suspect most people that actually make the decision to buy one of those sets won't have the same sort of remorse. Rather they will be happy to have built a cool set and not spent a fortune to do it. This is especially going to be true if the quality improves or has improved to the point were they are virtually indistinguishable from actual Lego.
    Legopassion8Recce
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,129
    The thing we, as a LEGO collector site, seem to forget sometimes is that not everyone in the brick building world is as passionate about Lego as the majority of the members on this site. Even Jangbricks YouTube channel, which a lot of members on here like, doesn't just stick to Lego as he knows that to increase his audience he has had to diversify. 
    This doesn't mean that I condone blatant IP ripoffs, the same as many on here don't, but it's not us that needs convincing.
    The trouble is, as some have mentioned above, with what are (to the newer generation AFOL) obscenely priced retired sets, going for a cheaper price than their modern day equivalent, and not having the money or the long term love of the brand like a lot of older AFOL's do, in this day and age it isn't really that much of a surprise that these sets are selling. And someone must be buying them because they keep bringing them out.  
    Recce
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    edited June 2016
    prevere said:
    ^I doubt there's a big enough market for that. These sellers are going for the quick buck. If this continues, they'll likely look at continuing to offer easy to copy sets that carry high aftermarket values. 
    I can find copycat Mini-Modulars set as well as the Bricktober sets. Do these have a huge market?

    I also find what I think are original mini-scaled buildings (although I doubt so) as well as "future" Mini-Modulars, such as the Pet Shop, Cinema, Bank and a police station! I didn't check if they got the design from MOC.
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,419
    I can't ignore the fact that all of these fake / clones / ripoffs is going to affect the way I buy a lot of our LEGO eventually.

    Charity shop bulk buys are going to be a nightmare in a few years, things are ok now as most of the stuff is from 3 - 5 years ago and is almost always all LEGO.

    When the youngsters who have these inferior brand sets hit their dark ages the second hand market will be flooded and, big bulk buy boxes of LEGO will be mixed with this trash or, wore still, not be LEGO at all.

     Be vigilant and, destroy any fakery that you find, literally.
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 1,002
    i changed my mind a bit after reading your comments.
    its cheaper yeah.   but its stolen!  the idea behind the product is STOLEN!  FACT!
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    edited June 2016
    ^ "Nick(ed) Knights"

    So true...
    bandit778
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,129
    @eggshen
    I am speechless, it seems a bit of a waste of time to plaster the Nexo Knights name across the title, then cross out the name Lego further down the page though.
    I really hope that TLG haven't got anything like this in the pipeline as having the copies before the original would be a new low.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    Pitfall69 said:
    This isn't about buying a cheaper alternative to LEGO; this is about the "copycat" companies stealing IP's from LEGO, Marvel, Disney etc. I do not mind "clone" brands like MegaBloks because they are creating their own product, but when you buy from these complete rip-off companies, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
    Are you at 10k likes yet?

    100% agree, by the way.  Not a counterfeit, per se, but definitely trading on Lego's goodwill in the marketplace.
    catwrangler
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 919
    Photo of Lepin Fire Brigade from AliExpress.



  • CoyotelilyCoyotelily God's Own County, UKMember Posts: 659
    I agree with @AllBrick, as a Lego trader, I do my very best to make sure that only Lego is sold, be it components, bricks, MINIFIGURES etc, it's easy to spot the likes of MB in a bulk load but as more fakes come on the market it's getting harder and more laborious to sort out, I even came across fake MINIFIGURES with genuine Lego legs, so that when checked you can be fooled!
    why do trading standards not target these at toy fairs and the like ?
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,336
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,419
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    edited July 2016
    ^^  I find it odd that the fake doesn't have a phony box.
  • EdmicEdmic ZürichMember Posts: 102
    I would not get counterfeit this since i don't want my kid sucking and chewing on unknown materials and chemicals. So i gave up on the idea of getting a few sets of minifigs for low cost and toss them away when he's done playing with them. However if there would be a good copy of 10179 i'd be willing to pay a couple of hundreds for that, build it (and also enjoy the building) and then sell it again or use it in a nice videotry-out and blast it with some nive 4" shells, would be the only way to ever build one of those for me without getting in a divorce situation. I enjoy the building proces the most and hardly will display anything anyway. The quality of counterfeit is getting better and better (atleast the good ones) and prices of Lego of going up by the year, especially the big special boxes than only can achieved secondhanded are rising up to insane price levels up to where it for a normal familyguy with a normal job is getting out of reach. I see counterfeit only growing over the next years and hardly anything that can be done against it. We like Lego, we like originals, but majority of the people can't care. The kids in large majority don't care and the price diff is huge.
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,419
    @Edmic - Save your money, don't buy any counterfeit sets ever.

    I would rather watch a video of someone building a #10179 than buy / build a fake anything. I also wouldn't feel guilty and would enjoy it more.
    TechnicNickstlux
  • BlueAbarth500BlueAbarth500 LondonMember Posts: 18
    SprinkleOtter

    if it's pretty much identical, why not? i'm not gonna pay £4000 for an official one.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    edited July 2016
    ^
    Because it is illegal.

    Do you want to build the set? Then just bricklink it in the cheapest colors available.

    If you want to look at it, good luck, clone brand quality is horrible.

    Do you want to own the set? Well, you still won't. You'll just own a forgery. Do people display forgery baseball cards?

    And lastly, I said it before, and I'll say it again. This is illegal. You would be supporting crime.
    AllBrickstluxRainstorm26
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 1,002
    edited July 2016
    especially golden and red bricks cause eye cancer!
    Pitfall69
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,883

    Do you want to own the set? Well, you still won't. You'll just own a forgery. Do people display forgery baseball cards?

    A lot of people display modern (cheap) reproductions.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 538
    ^
    Because it is illegal.

    Do you want to build the set? Then just bricklink it in the cheapest colors available.

    If you want to look at it, good luck, clone brand quality is horrible.

    Do you want to own the set? Well, you still won't. You'll just own a forgery. Do people display forgery baseball cards?

    And lastly, I said it before, and I'll say it again. This is illegal. You would be supporting crime.
    The clone quality is apparently improving, but if we had the legal option available I'm sure most of the people considering the clone version would go for the official. I would, but can't.

    As it is I will be Bricklinking the remaining parts when my Rebrickable build % goes high enough, but that's a time consuming option that not everyone can accommodate.
    Jern92
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 374
    edited July 2016
    I'm playing devils advocate here, so before you all shot me down in flames, please don't think I'm coming down on the side of the Chinese blocks, but if LEGO don't produce it anymore, it costs over £2000 on Amazon for the original set, you might have been in your dark ages, or too young to be around when the set was available, or just missed out and don't have the money to build an original via Bricklink et al, why wouldn't the average person (not hardcore AFOL) purchase a replica? Nowhere do I see that they are claiming they are LEGO, only compatible with, and as the set is not available anymore..... I have seen a few blocks from LEPIN (not purchased by me I must point out) and they are actually quite good, which is worrying.

    Anyway, if you are buying for yourself, and have no intention of selling on for a profit, then I don't believe (in the UK) that you are commiting any offence if you didn't know they were breaching IPR?

    As I say, please don't abuse me for saying this, it is just a point of view that I think is worth discussion. IMO, I think we should all support LEGO and if these items were not purchased, they simply wouldn't be made, but as most adults in the UK are not AFOLS, they won't care.
    MattDawson
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 374
    Recce said:
    Photo of Lepin Fire Brigade from AliExpress.



    I own an official LEGO Fire Brigade and this looks pretty good, which is very worrying for me as an AFOL, but it must be very frightening for LEGO?
    andhe
  • Legopassion8Legopassion8 North CarolinaMember Posts: 1,181
    Meh....3Ks is probably in on it. I can't remember where I put that list.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343

     You would be supporting crime.
    Unfortunately, it's not a crime in most of the world most of the time; it's a civil matter, and that's exactly why people get away with doing it - it simply isn't worth chasing the perpetrators because you can't really do anything to them that would deter them.
    CCC said:

    A lot of people display modern (cheap) reproductions.
    In most other areas, many people are happy to own a reproduction. Want the Mona Lisa but haven't got the odd billion looking for a home? Amazon will sell you one for less than the price of the cheapest boxed LEGO set (or probably even a clone set). It simply comes down to being able to enjoy looking (and making) something; the alternative is to go without.  That's not much of choice.

    To some people, a real Cafe Corner might as well be the same price as the real Mona Lisa - and they'll buy reproductions of both.

    If TLG have iconic sets with parts that are only made for a limited period, then somebody else is going to produce them instead. TLG can try fighting it but they're not going to stop it. Yes, somebody else is going to make money out of their ideas.

    However, there's a much bigger problem. Even on this forum, there has been a shift in attitudes and some people are prepared to admit to buying clones. That's the thin end of the wedge - once you've got one, the next is not such a big deal, particularly if the clone manufacturers continue to address the quality issues that have given them a bad name. What is going to happen in January 2020 when TLG release their latest modular, and a clone copy appears three weeks later - at half the price.

    Producing clone copies of iconic retired sets was inspired. I just hope that TLG have got a similarly inspiring plan on how to deal with the situation. Putting their heads in the sand, claiming the moral high ground, and adding a bit of name-calling would only end in tears.
    AndyPol said:

    As I say, please don't abuse me for saying this, it is just a point of view that I think is worth discussion.
    Abuse about this is just an ostrich approach - arguing against the inevitable, rather than trying to work out how to go forward. It is indeed worthy of discussion.
    IMO, I think we should all support LEGO and if these items were not purchased, they simply wouldn't be made, but as most adults in the UK are not AFOLS, they won't care.
    Unfortunately that tends not to work. What usually happens is that those who want something, like a classic set, might be very scornful of others, yet at the same time justifying their own purchase - "but it's just one". Or two. This month.

    If most people in the UK are not AFOLs, who on Earth bought enough copies of the original iconic sets to make their production worthwhile? I also don't think you need to be an AFOL to look at the back of a box and decide you'd like another from the series - it's why the pictures are there! Do it a couple of times in succession and you'll want a set that's ten years old.
    pharmjodcheshirecatMattDawsoncatwrangler
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    For something like the fire brigade modular does copyright apply? Box art could, but the set itself? 
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Does it matter?

    Squawking about copyright is merely a distraction which isn't going to stop the march of the clones.
  • EdmicEdmic ZürichMember Posts: 102
    I also wonder if there's a fear among collectors that prices of their sets/figs will drop when market is flooded with a quality that just can't be distinguished from Lego unless you would do a labtest on materials. Clone quality is improving, and there's a truckload of money to be earned with this. I wonder if in some years it will be as normal to buy counterfeit lego in facebook groups as it is today with fake adidas outfits. Parts get mixed up, and if no difference can be made than actually a whole collection should be considered worthless for collectors and prices should drop since secondhanded market partly follows the prices of newly offerings.
    catwrangler
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,409
    CCC said:

    Do you want to own the set? Well, you still won't. You'll just own a forgery. Do people display forgery baseball cards?

    A lot of people display modern (cheap) reproductions.
    Right, I have some friends that have signed lightsabers on display in their home. They aren't the original movie props, but they are officially licensed by Lucasfilm. That is really the issue here correct?
    catwrangler
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    The true issue is that the person/company from which the original idea should be appropriately compensated for their efforts and ingenuity.

    Otherwise, innovation is stymied and progress will take longer or not otherwise occur.

    DaVinci should be able to profit from the fruits of his labor.  It is a natural step to want to protect the creator as well - thus criminal and civil penalties.
    Legopassion8Pitfall69AllBrickcatwranglersnowhitie
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,409
    I do not know how it is in other countries, but..

    "In the U.S., federal law protecting trademarks makes it illegal to knowingly traffic counterfeit goods, which includes the production, sale and transport of such goods. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, has stated that federal law doesn’t prohibit an individual from buying a counterfeit product for personal use, even if they do so knowingly."

    A few years ago, 2 women were sentenced to 36 months in Federal Prison for selling counterfeit purses. It is NOT just a civil matter here in the US; it is a Federal Crime. 

    SumoLegoSprinkleOtterAllBrickcatwranglersnowhitie
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Pitfall69 said:

    It is NOT just a civil matter here in the US; it is a Federal Crime.
    As I understand it, it's something for lawyers to argue about. TLG also do not view the US as being where their future lies.

    More to the point, if the clones put a big label on each side of the box stating "This is not a LEGO set nor does it contain any LEGO pieces", then it becomes an entirely civil matter because there is clearly no element of deception. Whilst the clone manufacturers are using TLG artwork, they don't really try to keep changes in the same style - they're out to sell sets, and win market share, not to convince the naïve that they've found the bargain of the century.

    But, as I said, this is a distraction. Most people on this particular forum aren't concerned about whether a few  companies end up thumbing their noses at the courts, US or otherwise, nor if TLG end up laughing all the way to the bank with their pockets bulging from legal actions.

    They are more interested in what the clone reproductions are going to mean in terms of future sets and parts, both new and re-releases, in the destiny of TLG, and in the value of their own hordes. They are interested in what TLG do as a result of this relatively new threat, and how it's going to affect their hobby.
    pharmjodcatwrangler
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