The LEGO Group’s CEO, Niels B Christiansen, has commented on the challenge the company faces when dealing with clone brands.
For a number of years, the LEGO Group has faced the problem of clone brands such as Lepin creating knock-off products. Some dubious products have even ended up in UK stores and shopping malls in the USA. In an interview following the company’s annual results, Brickset asked LEGO CEO Niels B Christiansen about the Chinese market. In his response, he discussed the difficulties in dealing with clone brands:
“…LEGO products have sometimes been copied by Chinese companies which is problematic as there are consumers who purchase sets, believing them to be official LEGO, but actually receive an illegal copy. Opening brand stores ensures that we can guarantee the same quality in China that we do around the world. We have taken legal action which is excellent, although the process takes too long in many cases and it can be difficult to enforce the ruling when our products are refreshed so rapidly.”
This demonstrates that part of the LEGO Group’s rationale behind opening LEGO Stores in China is to combat clone brands by making the real, authentic products more readily available. Despite that, the problems around the length of time it takes for legal rulings to be enforced continues to frustrate the CEO.