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Dansk version

November 18 2004

More than 54,000 copies of LEGO products were destroyed

Last year, the customs authorities in Finland seized a large consignment of copy products in transit between China and Russia. There were 54,514 sets – totalling 10.5 tons of imitation productions – all of them blatant copies of LEGO products but marketed under the Enlighten brand name. The LEGO Company has since won an action against the Chinese perpetrator confirming the arrest of the goods, based on judgment by default (the defendant failed to turn up in court).

The judgment orders the destruction of the copy products. Disposal took place on Thursday, at Kymenlaakson Jäte Oy in Finland, where the bricks was crushed and incinerated.

Henrik G. Jacobsen, Corporate Attorney at the LEGO Company, says: “We are very happy with the judgment. It is a very important result in our effort to counteract imitation products – which mislead consumers. Not only do Enlighten products copy our packaging down to the last detail, but they contain brick components of a poor quality. There was a serious risk that children would have cut themselves or otherwise come to harm if an Enlighten component had broken during the course of normal play. Consumers in general expect quality products from the LEGO Company. So they would be misled if they thought they had bought an original LEGO product – if in fact it was actually a low quality product.”

This is the largest shipment of LEGO imitations ever seized by customs authorities for the LEGO Company, and Henrik G. Jacobsen is very satisfied with the way the Finnish customs have handled the case: “The health and well being of consumers could have been at risk if this enormous shipment of copy products had reached its destination in Russia.”

The LEGO Company has undertaken to pay disposal costs for the consignment of copy products in the absence of the other party who failed to appear in court. Says Henrik G. Jacobsen: “It is important to us that copy products generally do not reach the market or are donated to a charitable organisation – because the product quality is typically poor. Any injury a child might suffer can place the LEGO Company in a bad light because copy products can be mistaken for our components. When the child has thrown away the packaging, the copy product is very similar to our LEGO bricks. Consumers are misled into thinking that the imitations have been manufactured by us – which is an unacceptable situation for the LEGO Company. Although it may seem unreasonable that we ourselves have to pay to have copy products destroyed, we are nevertheless willing to do it so that our consumers can continue to trust the quality generally associated with original LEGO products.”

For further information, please contact:
Charlotte Simonsen
Head of Corporate Communications
LEGO Company
+45 79 50 65 79

The Chinese products were blatant copies of LEGO products.

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A bulldozer ran over the many boxes of copy products.

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Afterwards, the copy products went through a big crusher.

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The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials for children, employing approximately 5,000 people globally. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO products can be purchased in more than 130 countries.

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