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Overwhelming supply of fake Minifigs and Lego

I was at our local market on Sunday, and was very disappointed to see a very large store selling fake Lego. The minifig section was the largest I have seen to date (see picture).

 

The store was at ‘The College Markets’ in  Capalaba QLD Australia formally ‘Chandler Markets’.

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Comments

  • Jern92Jern92 MalaysiaMember Posts: 530
    I live in Malaysia and you see these everywhere. Local markets, toy stores, supermarkets, and even large shopping malls have these. What you have in the picture is tiny compared to what I see on almost a daily basis :-P
  • BACbrixBACbrix AmericaMember Posts: 655
    Disgusting...bootleg LEGO with licensed names on top. I thought all toys with a trademarked brand had to be approved and purchase the label for selling such toys? There is no way the Star Wars label was approved.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,732
    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."
    LostInTranslation
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 777
    Do they not have Trading Standards officers in Oz? You get this in UK too but Trading Standards do periodic sweeps of markets and Car Boots which picks up a lot of it.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    I don't condone counterfeiting but this is what comes with the territory when you position yourself as a premium brand. Rolex, Apple, coach, Louis vuitton, etc. it doesn't matter what industry you're talking about once you price yourself at a premium there will always be a market for cheaper knockoffs. And in the case of many figures I would guess 75% of the target audience honestly doesn't care if it says Lego on the box or not. To them toys are pretty much consumables, so if they can get roughly the same effect for less than half the price why not ?
    bobabrickskiki180703
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,359
    I'm curious, what do those sell for at those markets (price that is)?
  • CoyotelilyCoyotelily God's Own County, UKMember Posts: 644
    I was at York car boot sale last weekend and was horrified that there was someone there who had boards full of MINIFIGURES when I asked the price I was told they were £2 each ( mainly superheroes), oh I said so they are not genuine Lego "no they are lego compatible" - no trading standards here!!!! I just know that those of us who buy bulk lego are going to get swamped with these things and let's be honest they are good copies and not easy to spot at a glance.

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 3,743 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,341
    I don't know much about "trading standards" elsewhere, but in the US, selling counterfeit items is illegal. I know that selling counterfeit purses is a huge problem here. Selling these purses is actually a Federal Crime and can/will land you in jail. Even if you disclose a purse is fake you are still commiting a crime. Is isn't illegal to buy a fake purse, but if you turn around and sell it later, you are also commiting a crime. I believe the monitoring of counterfeit goods falls under The Department of Homeland Security.
    hkcrazy88madforLEGO
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 1,825
    From the AFP website:

    What is intellectual property?

    Intellectual property (IP) is the product of a creator's mind, such as an invention, design, logo, or an original literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work, process and even breed of plant.

    What is IP crime?

    IP crime is committed when someone who has no right to use a particular brand, logo, design, music or creative work, for example, does so illegally. This is also known as counterfeiting.

    What items are counterfeited?

    Every item that carries a brand is likely to be counterfeited at some time. This not only includes designer clothing and accessories, music and film, but medicines, household items, car parts and food.

    Why is IP regulation important?

    IP regulations protect innovations so the rightful owner can earn income from their creation. It keeps standards high for consumers and ensures public health and safety.

    Can counterfeit goods be dangerous?

    Counterfeit goods are manufactured with no regard for public safety. Fake medicines, personal care products and food items, for example, may contain unknown chemicals and are often made in unsanitary conditions.

    Hardware items, automotive parts, batteries and electrical goods may contain sub-standard components not produced to manufacturer's specifications. This could cause equipment failure, accidents, explosions, fires and other damage.

    How do I spot a fake?

    Counterfeit goods are produced cheaply to be sold cheaply. They often come in packaging that doesn't look quite right. Counterfeit goods are most likely to be sold through unconventional outlets such as markets, online and directly through individuals who are not usually associated with retail sales.

    Is IP crime a big problem in Australia?

    Fortunately, Australia's retail environment has not been swamped by large numbers of counterfeit goods, but the problem could gain a foothold here if we are not vigilant.

    How do I report IP crime?

    To report IP crime call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or you local state or territory police. If you have discovered a fake product, support legitimate industry by contacting the brand owner.
    xiahna
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,574
    ^^^ I guess by now it is safest to assume that any bulk lot with minifigs contains fakes, unless you see parts of the original Lego set mixed in. Even then, you should ask and inspect if possible before purchasing.

    I wouldn't bother with the Knavesmire bootfair for Lego. It is either knockoff or overpriced.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 392
    While I don't condone this in any way, I would be thoroughly tempted by a knock-off 10179.

  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    edited April 2015
    VorpalRyu said:
    From the AFP website:

    What is intellectual property?

    Intellectual property (IP) is the product of a creator's mind, such as an invention, design, logo, or an original literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work, process and even breed of plant.

    Why is IP regulation important?

    IP regulations protect innovations so the rightful owner can earn income from their creation. It keeps standards high for consumers and ensures public health and safety.
    Not to go off topic but it's quite amusing the way they've phrased this. It makes it sound like the only people who should legally profit off these things are ideas people who produce IP, but frankly the biggest problem with IP laws today are the fact that most of the money is made by IP leeches such as patent trolls or music industry execs who don't do much useful other than run legal but morally bankrupt protection rackets. The actual ideas people and artists make only a fraction of the money, or sometimes none at all.

    I avoid knock off Lego like the plague, because frankly I want minifigs that are going to be around and in good condition for decades and I'm not convinced the knock offs will be, but as Lego increases it's prices and decreases it's quality it's removing the motivations to buy genuine. I'm not surprised therefore that this is a growing problem- whatever you think of counterfeits there's no real doubt that counterfeit markets arrive where genuine products are leaving a gap. When companies like Apple, Rolex and Lego price premium, it means there are people who want budget versions of their product that aren't served, hence why the counterfeit market arises. This leaves companies with a choice of filling that void, or accepting counterfeits as an inevitable reaction to their refusal to do so, there isn't really any other option.

    It's difficult for premium companies, because the act of filling the void can in itself devalue that premium image, but as we've seen with Apple, they finally have a (relatively) budget version of the iPhone and they've reaped the profits of doing so so it clearly can work. I don't know how TLG would do the same thing, as I'm not sure how they could do a budget line if they even wanted to, but they may want to just stop raising prices because consider that there's a lot of talk that TLG is in a bubble waiting to burst, whilst they're riding high on premium price points now, what happens if that bubble does burst? they'll be forced to drop price and will find themselves competing against this thriving counterfeit market. Thus, it might make a lot of sense to do something about that and become more competitive against it now so that when/if TLG does fall it's still got the remaining market largely cornered. It's pretty clear given the counterfeit products that sell the most - minifigs - that a CMF line of super heroes, and/or Star Wars minifigs most definitely has a market.

    As for counterfeiters at car boots and so forth? fuck em. If you spot them then call the police non-emergency number, the local council if it's a council run market, or trading standards. As much as I have a problem with current IP laws I still believe it's inherently wrong to try and profit off of someone else's design and marketing work. If you want to sell minifigs then create your own designs.
    VorpalRyuGothamConstructionCodougtsTheBigLegoskikiki180703Goldchains
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 1,825
    Personally, I'm not a big fan of how TLG does the whole exclusives thing for SDCC & the like, I would prefer to see sets released with the same figure available for retail, even if changed slightly (for example the SDCC Phoenix was green, TLG could have released a white Phoenix in a set). For those out of my price range (as in, I will not pay the kind of money sellers are demanding), I would never go sourcing a fake, I will simply have to miss that one off my collection, if you are going to support the counterfeiters, you might as well not buy Lego.
    xiahna
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 392
    I wonder what Kiddicraft would have made of all this  ;)
    nonexkiki180703
  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
  • EvilTwinEvilTwin UKMember Posts: 77
    Is the "S" with the diagonal flash a known clone brand? Sluban?
  • scrumperscrumper UKMember Posts: 323
    ^The brand is SY, Chinese I think.
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,192
    I was in Greece not too long ago and saw fake minifig boxes that looked just like that at about every newspaper stand.  But they were priced at about 4 Euro each - which I found strange because you could get (some) of the Ninjago and Super Heroes ones for that price!
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 777
    ^^^Its Sheng Yuan or SY. Theyake some great minifigs quality-wise. Some are knock offs of LEGO but some are ones you can't get otherwise.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 816
    The quality is definitely getting better. I had a few earlier versions of Super Heroes and then picked up some Iron Man suits to fill in the gaps and a lot of them are spot on. The texture may look a little shinier, but the printing was well done. The helmet mold was streamlined. I was impressed..and disappointed since I'll never see most of those figures in official LEGO form.
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski AmsterdamMember Posts: 1,159
    I saw a very interesting as well as highly entertaining clip from 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' about patents and patent trolls:

    I believe posting this is not entirely off topic, actually rather the contrary considering what others wrote here with regard to IP etc.


    dougtsBombTec
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 629
    I was just at a small comic convention in San Jose over the weekend and I saw at least four vendors selling bootleg Chinese minifigures. One booth had official minifigs, but it was overshadowed by the bootlegs.

    Fortunately the quality difference is good enough that you can tell them apart by the kind of plastic and printing, but it's really unfortunate how widespread these have gotten.
  • dragon114dragon114 United StatesMember Posts: 590
    someone got me some bootlegged figures that where mixed with real figures. think the seller didnt know the difference. 4 out of 6 where fake.
  • arbiterarbiter Member Posts: 16
    I remember seeing bootleg Bionicles somewhere. here are links to pics on the interwebs.

    Roodaka
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3217/2290324323_6613d3b57b.jpg
    Sidorak
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3038/2290324411_7b6b4a8a6c.jpg
    Gaaki
    http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/boss-nass/DSC08491-1.jpg
    Iruini
    http://upload.zantherus.com/files/30n2k4rp9g7e8julgzyc.jpg

    There are all the rahaga somewhere and I remember seeing a Hordika Vakama in the same packaging as Sidorak and Roodaka. lol.
  • arbiterarbiter Member Posts: 16
    Oh yeah, and I saw "Bot Factory" at Five Below stores not long ago, a rip off of Hero Factory.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 4,385
    edited April 2015
    I was in a high street shop in the UK the other day that had some very brazen Hero Factory knock offs for sale - admittedly it was a discount shop known for selling off brand stuff in general, but these even had the Hero Factory logo on the figures (which weirdly came pre-built)
  • fixitbobbyfixitbobby Member Posts: 16
    Wow!  I've been waiting for "Toy 4 Story"  to come out.....   Jk.  Have real Lego Minifigs ever come in boxes?  All I remember seeing are the bags (in the US).
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,574
    edited April 2015
    ^ Only the special sets, such as #850458. Assuming you mean the CMF range only. Obviously many normal minifigs come in set boxes.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 392
    arbiter said:
    I remember seeing bootleg Bionicles somewhere. here are links to pics on the interwebs.

    Roodaka
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3217/2290324323_6613d3b57b.jpg
    Sidorak
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3038/2290324411_7b6b4a8a6c.jpg
    Gaaki
    http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/boss-nass/DSC08491-1.jpg
    Iruini
    http://upload.zantherus.com/files/30n2k4rp9g7e8julgzyc.jpg

    There are all the rahaga somewhere and I remember seeing a Hordika Vakama in the same packaging as Sidorak and Roodaka. lol.
    That 'Brick' logo made me laugh!
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,458
    ^ People 'not paying any attention' appears to be their demographic...
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    ^ and people who don't know/don't care. It's all "Lego" to many parents who aren't afols
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the WestMember Posts: 2,105
    I don't mind the fake Lego as long as the seller tells you they're not Lego.

    Some of the Sheng are pretty cool though.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited April 2015
    I was at York car boot sale last weekend and was horrified that there was someone there who had boards full of MINIFIGURES when I asked the price I was told they were £2 each ( mainly superheroes), oh I said so they are not genuine Lego "no they are lego compatible" - no trading standards here!!!!


    Apologies if I've missed this said above, but I believe that trading standards would have no problem with this, so long as the consumer isn't being duped into thinking that they are buying LEGO. If the seller isn't using the LEGO logo, or calling them LEGO and when asked is actually saying they are LEGO compatible then there's no problem - from a trading standards perspective. There may be a breach of the minifigure patent but even if there is that's an issue for LEGO not trading standards. Use of brands such as STAR WARS etc is slightly greyer, the offence of using the trademark again would be an issue for Disney lawyers the fact that you might believe you're buying officially licensed products might become an issue for trading standards but honestly, I wouldn't want them wasting their time on that - there are MUCH bigger issues for them to sensibly use their time and resources on.

    This is entirely of LEGO's making, by overpricing their product, just as the music industry overprices their product too. If they want to do that then they need to privately pay for any protection of their brand themselves, and not use up the time of officials paid for from tax. 

    The one issue where trading standards should take a close look at these 'knock-offs' is in the material quality and other toy standards.

    TheBigLegoskiPhoneboothNorlego
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 1,825
    Part of the role of government is to create laws & enforce them, with regards to counterfeiters, there are three points here;

    1. Taxation. TLG & companies selling their products are paying taxes involved with selling said products, while the counterfeiters & the sellers are likely using tactics to avoid paying tax, as it has to be declared, including some details as what is sold. Counterfeit products are illegal in most western countries, so declaring you are selling them drags up points 2 & 3, so to avoid that, avoid paying tax.

    2. Certification & Regulations. TLG & other companies have to abide by various regulations & standards, much of which means they are paying for the privilege to sell their products, as they have to pay for a variety of government tests & verifications that their products are safe & fit for purpose. Counterfeiters do not pay for such paperwork & therefore may be unsafe.

    3. Trademark. TLG has spent large amounts of money in various countries, via their legal system putting in place various trademarks, copyrights, etc, from which the government itself would derive some income, while the counterfeiters have copied said items, breeching those trademarks.

    Do you pay taxes? Image the government decided not to pick up your garbage any more, or fix the roads... You pay taxes to them, they have a duty of care to get these things done. TLG pay taxes, certifications & legal fees to our governments, so they too have the right to expect some degree of action on the part of the government.
    Phoneboothxiahna
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    ^ No in the majority of cases IP infringment relating to patents and trademarks is a civil issue and as such the onus is on the patent/trademark holder in pursuing, investigating and amassing evidence in any case. Unless those products were being sold as LEGO then trading standards shouldn't get involved beyond concerns about product safety.
    TheBigLegoski
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 1,825
    ^ In Australia at least, counterfeit is counterfeit, which is illegal, therefore also a law enforcement issue.
    xiahna
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    Yep, it's most certainly incorrect to suggest that this isn't something trading standards would take issue. It's a clear rights violation.

    I don't really know where this myth surfaced from that you can say "Not real Lego" as a get out clause for all IP infringement. The problem with this fake Super Heroes minifigs is that they infringe on multiple levels. Certainly in general they're designed to look like Lego's product, but there are a number of areas of infringement beyond that. Lego's design patent on many (all?) of it's blocks has now expired such that you can imitate the form, however each and every print on a brick or minifig in itself will be covered by copyright, the marvel characters are also covered by copyright, the box art that appears to be taken directly, or almost directly from Lego (TT?) materials is covered by copyright, and the Super Heroes logo is a trademark. Simply stating "not official Lego" doesn't preclude the possibility that someone would still assume based on the numerous infringements that it's a licensed clone authorised by Lego, even if not made by Lego. It also doesn't preclude someone from assuming that it has DC or Marvel's blessing. On the contrary, the infringement of numerous protected logos and designs is in place precisely to give people this exact impression - that it's somehow part of the Lego/Marvel/DC offering because it looks to the layman like it could be, and that's the test the courts use.

    These sorts of clones seem to be designed to satisfy the relatively lax IP laws of Asian and Russian markets, but they've made their way into Western markets where IP laws are much more stringent (largely because we're more services based societies and so IP law is more important). Were the intention to be anything other than to mislead as a Lego/Marvel/DC product they'd simply create a whole new IP with their own characters. Given the closeness however to existing products it's impossible to argue rationally that these clones are to be passed off as anything other Marvel/DC characters.

    I don't think we should be in the business of second guessing where trading standards priorities should be, I'm sure they're capable of doing that themselves. How much of a problem it is really depends on how much weight you put into the idea that this sort of for profit infringement supports everything from tax dodging to terrorism. I'm not really about to begin to guess how much it does as the evidence ranges from studies saying not at all, to cold hard court cases determining that it happens at least sometimes, through to end of the world scenarios pushed by vested interests declaring it will end Western civilisation. I suspect as usual that the truth is somewhere in the middle, but that's why I'd rather leave it to trading standards to prioritise.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited April 2015
    Xefan said:
    Yep, it's most certainly incorrect to suggest that this isn't something trading standards would take issue. ... I don't think we should be in the business of second guessing where trading standards priorities should be
     ;) 

    Do trading standards actually worry about 'clear [IP] rights violations'? is that their remit. They almost solely concern themselves with consumer protection, consumer credit and food safety, they are generally part of local authority departments that also work on environmental health, health and safety etc. Counterfeit goods are a large part of what they do but within the terms of consumer protection and (product and food) safety. They were originally set up to ensure that consumers weren't being ripped off, and that has largely stayed consistent. Is a consumer being ripped off by a non-official licensed product that they are getting below market value? 

    You might also notice I was specifically talking about the York car boot sale. I also specifically said that product safety should be considered by Trading Standards. 

    However, the reality is still that all those IP infringements, even the plethora of them in the AUS photos are still a civil issue in the UK. It could also be taken one step further, that as LEGO were surely made aware that moving production to china would greatly increase the prevalence of counterfeit products (I know for a fact that companies planning on moving production there are advised of this), are they even liable for the IP infringement of their associated brands - The Simpsons, Star Wars, Marvel etc.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    ^ No in the majority of cases IP infringment relating to patents and trademarks is a civil issue and as such the onus is on the patent/trademark holder in pursuing, investigating and amassing evidence in any case. Unless those products were being sold as LEGO then trading standards shouldn't get involved beyond concerns about product safety.
    No, that's completely false. IP infringement can be both civil and criminal. It becomes a criminal act when it's done for material gain of which selling for profit is an obvious example. Less obvious examples might be "Come to my shop because we're letting you watch the latest Avengers movie!" without a license to show it, there's no direct gain for the showing itself, but you're clearly trying to pull more customers in off the back off an unlicensed showing of the film - in other words there is an intent to obtain commercial gain from the infringement.

    Also, this is very much in Trading Standard's remit. I suggest you read the following link:

    https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property-crime-and-infringement

    Relevant quotes:
    Infringement of trade marks and copyrights can be criminal offences, as well as being actionable in civil law.
    and:
    Criminal IP offences are also known as “IP crime” or “counterfeiting” and “piracy”. Counterfeiting can be defined as the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of products which falsely carry the trade mark of a genuine brand without permission and for gain or loss to another.
    and:
    Trading standards are primarily responsible for enforcing the criminal IP laws, with support from the police, and with investigative assistance from the IP rights owners. Private criminal investigations and prosecutions may also be launched by the right owners in some cases.
    I don't think it could really be any more clear cut.


  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited April 2015
    From the same document....

    “Infringement” is a legal term for an act that means breaking a law. IP rights are infringed when a product, creation or invention protected by IP laws are exploited, copied or otherwise used without having the proper authorisation, permission or allowance from the person who owns those rights or their representative.

    It can range from using technology protected by a patent to selling counterfeit medicines/software or copying a film and making it available online.

    All of these acts will constitute a civil infringement but some copyright and trade mark infringements may also be a criminal offence such as the sale of counterfeits including clothing.

    Exactly as I said, IP infringement isn't a criminal issue. Counterfeiting is, but these aren't counterfeit goods, if they were sold as LEGO and said LEGO on the box it would be a counterfeit, it doesn't, they're not. There's an IP infringement for the minifigure patent and a plethora of trademarks for Star Wars, Simpsons etc. but they're not counterfeit as they're not claiming to be LEGO and I don't believe you can be a counterfeit of a license.  Repackage them in a LEGO box and that's counterfeit, like putting a Levi's label on a pair of matalan jeans.


    With all of this, I'm not defending the shady chinese companies, but pointing out that if its to be dealt with it should be LEGO, Disney, WB, Fox and whoever else that pays for it as its their IPs they are protecting. 

  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    You're putting an interpretation on those terms that has absolutely no backing in the real world. Just to highlight the relevant part of what you quoted:
    All of these acts will constitute a civil infringement but some copyright and trade mark infringements may also be a criminal offence such as the sale of counterfeits including clothing.
    It clearly talks about trademark and copyright infringement being a possible criminal offence, and as quoted previously one of the ways in which that happens is when you seek material gain from the infringement such as payment. You seem to be clutching at that sentence's one single example of counterfeit clothes and pretending that that somehow voids the whole of the rest of the document's description on when it becomes criminal and what classes as infringement. That's clutching at straws at best. Though regardless, the paragraph before the one you quoted implies that these are counterfeits anyway, I'll quote the relevant part once more for you:
    Criminal IP offences are also known as “IP crime” or “counterfeiting” and “piracy”. Counterfeiting can be defined as the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of products which falsely carry the trade mark of a genuine brand without permission and for gain or loss to another.
    Obviously we're talking about the sale of goods here, so I'm sure you agree the first provision is met. These clones also carry Lego's trademarked Superheroes logo without permission, so that condition is met. Finally, there is clear attempt to gain from production of this product as they're produced for sale, for profit, hence the final condition is met. As such, I really don't think you have a leg to stand on pretending further that this isn't criminal copyright infringement.

    FWIW I'm not defending the scope creep of trading standards either by the way - I largely agree with what you're arguing they should be doing, I'm just pointing out that it most definitely is their job. It somewhat irks me that council tax payers are effectively funding enforcement issues for private businesses, especially when as you say, private businesses are the ones that create the environment in which this happens in the first place.

    I believe this sort of enforcement should be funded out of general taxation, probably into the police force as it's a criminal issue and then it should be up to local police forces to determine how much of an issue this is. This would make more sense given that the police are better equipped to pursue counterfeiting rings nationwide than localised trading standards bodies are. As it stands we've got this broken situation where government mandates that councils must do it, so councils have to spend money doing something they probably have no interest in whilst creating a defacto policing organisation that undoubtedly ends up duplicating effort by the police themselves and hence wasting money. It is a stupid situation, but it is what it is unfortunately.

    On a wider note this is why I believe the whole concept of localism is broken, it seems to be an effort to make local authorities take responsibility for things they don't want to and have no control over because they're mandated to deal with. Try asking your elected councillors to push for trading standards enforcement of criminal IP infringement to be defunded and see what happens, it'll highlight why localism is a nonsense - it only reaches as far as the blame for things going wrong does :smile: 


  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited April 2015
    Nope, counterfeiting is a form of trademark infringement, its also the only form that is ever used as an example of 'criminal' ip infringement. When they say some 'IP' infrignement is criminal, but all is civil, it is my understanding that the 'some' is the counterfeiting. What ip infrigement would you say is left over from the all minus some. And again, i've only seen example of trading standards getting involved in 'counterfeiting' of goods, drugs, tobacoo etc.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    The sentence isn't ambiguous, it says all copyright infringement is civil but some is also criminal. Some can be both because criminal prosecutions have to pass fitness tests such as likelihood of conviction and public interest. A criminal case may be dropped because it fails to pass these tests and that allows the victim to take up the case in civil courts if they so choose. This typically happens in edge cases where infringement isn't clear and the authorities opt not to spend tax payer money on the case because they don't have high confidence of a win but the victim believes they can win a civil case (which is judged on balance of evidence rather than reasonable doubt which is used in criminal cases). The accused would thus if they lost not face criminal penalties like jail but still face civil penalties like fines. This is how our justice system works.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    Nope again you're wrong, and just to be clear you're also mixing your use of copyright and IP infringement. Copyright is one specific case of IP infringement. The reason they say it can be criminal is because it depends on the offence. For example patent infringement and design infringement is only ever a civil issue.

    (See http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/intellectual_property_crime/)

    Trademarks are more complicated and again unauthorised use will always be civil but can be criminal. In these cases I suspect their defense against the criminal prosecution would be that the trademark holder authorised similar use for the licensed product. It then is just unauthorised use (a civil matter). By contrast if they copied the Lego logo there would be no defense. That might explain why they're happy to infringe the Simpsons, Disney etc but not Lego. Especially as Disney are known to be particularly strong on enforcing their ip. If they infringed Lego it would be counterfeit but something that is like lego can't be a counterfeit of either a TV show or film.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,574
    The only time I ever saw trading standards at the boot fair in York, they were more interested in who were traders and who were public sellers.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    @cheshirecat I've been clear throughout that the minifigures breach two aspects of IP law - copyrights, and trademarks. I've also been clear that they do not breach design patents because Lego's design patents have expired. Quite why therefore you're even bothering to bring up patents as only ever being a civil issue I've no idea, it's irrelevant, the fact remains that both copyright and trademarks can be criminal issues, and in the case of these sorts of minifigures being sold for profit, clearly are. Your link to the CPS website merely further confirms everything I have said so far, so, er, thanks. I guess.

    After that you spout out a paragraph that can only reasonably described as made up nonsense. I mean, where did you even get this idea that some arbitrary nonsense about authorisation to one company to use some IP allows another 3rd party to get away with it only being a civil offence if they do the same without authorisation? That's not even close to the reality of IP law which, as I said (and as the very link you posted says) determines criminality of IP infringement based primarily on motive - i.e. did you do it for personal material gain (I quote: For each of the offences in section 92(1) - (3) it is also necessary for the prosecutor to prove that the person conducted the activities "... with a view to gain for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another."). If you can't understand the government's plain English description of IP law from the earlier link I'm not even about to begin dissecting the CPS' quoting of the law itself for you, but just in case anyone else is interested, then the "Elements of the offence" section under Criminal offences in the Trademarks section of the CPS document describes the steps necessary to prove criminal infringement. A quick read should make it clear that use of say, the Super Heroes trademarked logo leaves them falling flat in the face of this law.

    Look, I know you childishly seem to view me as some kind of online nemesis or whatever because you're the sort of guy that just has to hold grudges about every little thing, but you really should just stop digging at this point. It's just embarrassing. You don't have to be right about everything ever, the world wont end if you're not, it's okay, we all get things wrong sometimes just as I did here in the past regarding taxation. There's opinion, and everyone has the right to this, but then there's cold hard fact, and you're reaching a point of such absurdity that you're de-facto declaring that you know the law better than the people that wrote it and the people that have to apply it. I'm afraid you don't just get to redefine established law and legal precedent just because you have this desperate need to "win" every online discussion.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited April 2015
    No, I really don't. You said that the 'can' in thethe gov.uk statement that ip infringement can be criminal was about burden of proof. Its evidently not, its about specifics. If you go back to what I originally said the majority of patent and IP infringement is civil, that seems to be backed up by the cps who I'm happy to assume know more about this than you. The fact that these companies go out of their way to not use the Lego trademark but happily use the others also suggests there's something there, and they probably also know more than we do. Argue all you like, I'm happy having better things to do on a Friday night than write pages of replies
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 3,743 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,341
    Is it sad that I have nothing better to do on a Friday night than read pages of replies? ;)
    pharmjod
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,088
    Pitfall69 said:
    Is it sad that I have nothing better to do on a Friday night than read pages of replies? ;)
    Yes.
    Pitfall69pharmjod
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 3,743 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,341
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