The LEGO Group wins copyright infringement case in the USA

As the LEGO Group seeks to protect its intellectual property and trademarks, the company has won a US case against Best-Lock Construction Toys.

A US copyright infringement suit has seen the LEGO Group win against the British company Best-Lock Construction Toys. WIPR reports that Best-Lock’s figures infringed on the LEGO Group’s copyright registrations that were made back in 1994.

In defence, Best-Lock argued that the company had been selling into the USA for years, and the lawsuit had only come about after US Customs and Border Protection seized a shipment of the company’s products – which it did as they perceived them as infringing on the LEGO Group’s copyright.

The filing read: “LEGO had not previously attempted to stop Best-Lock’s sale of its blocks and figures in the US and had not issued any warning or given Best-Lock any notice that it believed Best-Lock’s minifigures infringed any LEGO copyrights.”

It was found that Best-Lock products are “indistinguishable” to the LEGO Group’s, with court stating that: “A comparison of the works makes clear that Best-Lock has copied protectable, expressive elements that are original to LEGO.”

The court also referred to communication between Best-Lock and the LEGO Group outside the USA, which led the former to mistakenly assume they would not be sued within the USA.

The LEGO Group aggressively pursues companies perceived to be using the company’s IP, both clear clone brands such as Lepin and other construction toys using aspects of the LEGO Group’s designs.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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