In October 2018, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau’s Economic Investigation Team were tipped off that “Le Pin ” (or Lepin) brick style blocks were uncannily similar to the “Lego” toys, allegedly infringing the copyright of the “Lego” brand. Soon after, a criminal case investigation was launched.
As quoted from the Shanghai police report:
After investigation, the criminal suspect Yu Mou and others opened a design company in Shenzhen, and the “Lego” building blocks assembled toys were re-engraved into design drawings and handed over to Li. The criminal suspect Li registered the “Le Pin” trademark in the name of “Long Jun Toy Factory”, and made the mold into the injection molding machine according to the “Lego” toy design drawings for mass production, and then sold it all over the country.
On April 23rd 2019, the Shanghai police busting the bootleg LEGO crew, including the head of the company, Li. Included in this raid were three production warehouses, a dozen assembly lines, production molds, 200,000 manuals and packaging boxes, and an estimated 630,000 completed product. Price estimation on this raid is more than 200,000,000 yuan, or about $30,000,000 dollars.
Lepin Toys Bootleg LEGO Raid Image Gallery:
SOURCE: Weixin Shanghai Police Report