Bootleg vs Bootleg, LOZ Shut Down Competitors with Help from Police

LOZ brand is a clone manufacturer of Kawada’s line of nanoblocks. In China it’s known as diamond blocks. LOZ often claimed they are “German” company and had copyright from the German HQ to manufacture diamond blocks in China. In fact they are Chinese company located in Shantou, Guangdong and the company name is “广东振丰科教玩具有限公司”.

In June 2016, LOZ brand collaborated with police department of Shantou and raided three bootleg makers of diamond blocks under the brand of BOB, BOYU and LNO. LOZ claimed those three makers were infringing the copyright of LOZ. Photos of the three factories below. Source:
During the raids, 70,000 boxes of copyright infringed products were confiscated, and offenders would faced prosecution and got jail terms from three to seven years.

It’s very interesting case because LOZ itself is a bootleg maker of Kawada’s Nanoblock. By claiming other makers of diamond blocks infringing its right, it’s a case of kettle calling a pot black. LOZ often copied the fan designed nanoblock arts and make them as their own.

If a bootleg company could close down other bootleg companies, perhaps it’s something that Lego shall emulate as well. LOZ succeeded in this case due to three factors.

1. LOZ and its competitors are located in same city, Shantou.
You can’t called the cop from your own city to arrest bad guys of another city.
2. LOZ is a big tax payer in Shantou.
If you could help fatten the local government’s coffer, it would make things easier.
3. Because LOZ is a big tax payer, local government is willing to help.
You need factor 2 for factor 3 to work. LOZ is definitely bigger tax payer compared to other three makers. Being a big tax payer it carried lots of political weight and that create incentive for local government to collaborate with you.

For Lego, would it be easier for it to just call the police and get them to shut down Lepin? Lego’s factory is in Jiaxing, Zhejiang while Lepin is in Dongguan, Guangzhou. The two are located in two different provinces and under different jurisdiction. Too bad all three factors didn’t apply for Lego.

LOZ also started making clone copies of Lego. They took the design from Lego Architecture series and released it under their LOZ Mini Block series. Note that LOZ’s mini block is bigger than diamond blocks but smaller than Lego’s bricks. By not using the same design of Lego’s bricks, LOZ reckon they could get away with it.

I wonder if Lego could sue LOZ due to design infringement. Perhaps Lego shall just call the police and throw Lepin’s executive in prison.

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