LEGO IP Court Fight Go Round 2 with LEPIN APPEAL

The hottest news for the LEGO community would be the legal win against LEPIN. The LEGO public relations cleverly announced the news on Nov. 5th during China International Import EXPO (CIIE) though the Guangzhou High Court had handled down the verdict back in 21st July 2017. In the opening of CIIE, China President Xi Jinping promised to protecting foreign companies’ interests and enhancing punitive enforcement for infractions of intellectual property rights.
Still, the victory was hollow as the damage awarded was mere CNY 4.5 million (USD 600,000), one third of CNY 12 million (USD 1.7 million) sought. Also LEPIN was barred from selling only 18 counterfeit sets.  Most of them were discontinued Lego themes like Chima and Nexo Knights as well as Ninjago sets that’s out of production. Below is list of the affected sets sent by LEPIN to their retailers and we added the links on Aliexpress.

14012 Nexus Knights Rumble Blade

LEPIN had issued a statement confirming they  will appeal. In fact this would be the second rounds of appeal after LEPIN failed to move the lawsuit to Shantou Court. In the statement, LEPIN promised compensation to sellers who had to take down the listing of the 18 sets of LEPIN in question.
Lepin appeal
Enforcement of IP rights is a issue in China and LEPIN continues in making and selling counterfeit LEGO sets. The court case will drag on just like previous case against Xiaobailong, which took 5 years to resolve.

Meizhi Model, the parent company of Lepin does have plan B. Xingbao is the sister brand of LEPIN. Meizhi Model had been courting well known LEGO fan designers such as Firas Abu-Jaber to design sets under Xingbao label. Lately, Xingbao made change to minifigure design as part of the move to avoid copyright issue with LEGO. The minifigure on the left appeared in older sets of Xingbao, while the newer set had different legs.
Xingbao old vs new minifig
Xingbao is actively recruiting designers with LEGO MOC experience based in China, with recruitment ad appeared in various wechat group of clone bricks. The monthly pay for MOC designer is CNY 8000-18000 (USD 1,156-2600).
xingbao recruitment

As the legal case dragging on, it is business as usual for LEPIN and other maker like Bela, Lele, and SEMBO. It will be a long fight for LEGO.


  1. Only Thing lego can do with lepin is Sue and C&D set that their own IP.
    Without help from IP Holder Lego can’t do anything with license set.


  2. […] Losing court case to LEGO made no difference as LEPIN continue to sell counterfeit LEGO products. Based on our estimation, the gross margin for LEPIN could be over 50% given it didn’t have to pay licensing fees. We get the ball park figure by referencing Banbao, which had gross margin of 34.47% for its brick toy line. Banbao is China only publicly listed manufacturer of interlocking brick toys on Shanghai Stock Exchange, who acquired IP of Peppa Pig, Snuppy etc. […]


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