The dispute between the terminal block dealer Thorsten Klahold and the brick giant Lego is being dealt with in court: the eighth chamber for commercial matters at the Düsseldorf Regional Court will take up the matter. The clinch is about figures from China, which the Paderborn retailer sells in its online shop – according to the Danish toy company, they are too similar.
According to the court, the value in dispute is half a million euros. Lego fears a risk of confusion between the Danish originals and the “copies” from China. As summarized by the German Press Agency, the retailer Thorsten Klahold has been selling the figures in his shop and online via a shop for three years.
“China figures are 100 percent compatible”
The Paderborn retailer praises the competing products as alternatives, cheap and “100 percent compatible”. According to the company, the far greater problem for Lego is the similarity of some figures. The basis for the lawsuit can be found in a registered design: Lego had already had the 3D representation of the figurines protected over 20 years ago. According to the German press agency, Lego's lawyer explains that minimal variations on a criticized almost 1:1 imitation would not change anything.
In court, it's a David versus Goliath fight: the Paderborn retailer meets a giant of the toy market. Lego generated sales of around seven billion euros last year. Apparently, Klahold stated that he even – in his eyes – removed controversial figures from packs. An out-of-court settlement is in the air and is quite likely. Otherwise, the process would continue on July 15. According to dpa information, the court made it clear that there are great similarities between the Lego products and the figures sold by Thorsten Klahold.
The Danish company Lego is one of the top 3 toy manufacturers in the world in terms of revenue. In 2020, Lego had even generated the highest turnover of all toy manufacturers. The company was founded in Billund in 1932.
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