Lego puts ban on Banbao

Further to our previous post on the Lego-BanBao-case, notes that the Dutch court has issued a ruling yesterday.

And Lego won! Victoriously, we must add.

Lego takes the view that Banbao’s basic building blocks cause unnecessary confusion, because they copied a number of Lego figures and product packagings.

Banbao has contested that. They state they have made the toy bricks and figures in that way, because of the (public) need for interoperability and interchangeability with the Lego bricks. This is not unlawful, even if this causes confusion.

The court does not agree with Banbao. Although the existence of standardization requirements for purchasers of construction toys implies that the simulation of a product is not in itself unlawful, this does not mean Banbao is absolutely free to copy the building blocks of Lego in a confusing way.

Looking at the case, we must say that Banbao has not put a lot of effort in diverging – where possible – from the Lego bricks and figures. Standardization is in the interest of the public. Confusion is not.

Banbao is to cease and desist any and all any making, offering, marketing, sales, supply and erection of the infringing products. Within two weeks. Banbao is also to pay the costs of the proceedings, on the part of Lego to date estimated at € 65,642.14. That’s a lot of bricks.

Read the decision here (in Dutch).

See all the infringing products here (Lego left, Banbao right):


© image by Stefano Tartarotti



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