Imitation LEGO sets from clone brand Lepin are selling in huge numbers in Dubai, as the Chinese based firm’s products continues to spread around the world.
Arab News reports that one megastore in Dubai is selling thousands of dollars of Lepin products. Lepin is the subject of a legal challenge from the LEGO Group, as the products manufactured by Lepin use LEGO designs, IPs and trademarks – many are exact copies of official LEGO products. In recent years, Lepin has even resorted to stealing fan designs.
I Toys, in Dubai’s Dragonmart shopping centre, has a large range of Lepin on sale, the article reveals.
Razwan Muhammed, who has worked in the store for four years, said: “I think it is one of our best sellers.”
He explained that Lepin products can range from a small 37-piece Minecraft set – retailing at 37 dirhams ($10) – to a 5,382-piece Star Wars puzzle and a 5,972-piece set depicting the Taj Mahal, both on sale for 700 dirhams ($190).
In comparison, the Lego version of the Taj Mahal with the same number of pieces — which has since been discontinued — costs $299.99.
Of course it is not just the LEGO Group that is having its intellectual property stolen, as these quotes make clear – Lepin may be selling Minecraft and Star Wars products, but the company has no legal right to do so. The Lepin products are completely unlicensed and unofficial.
The LEGO Group provided comment to Arab News in response to the spread of Lepin:
“Generally, what I can say is that the Lego Group appreciates fair competition. That is in the interest of consumers, and the Lego Group as it pushes us to create even more engaging play experiences for children. We do, however, not appreciate unfair competition where consumers are led to believe they buy a Lego product, when in fact they are not.
“When this happens, we take the necessary steps to safeguard consumers and the Lego Group’s rights. In the case of Lepin, there is no doubt that their products are copies of Lego products all the way through, and thereby unfair competition.”
The legal proceedings that the LEGO Group has instigated against Lepin are ongoing, but it seems unlikely that the clone brand is going to stop producing knock-off sets until a ruling is made and enforced.