Lego is taking three competitor brands to court in the US, claiming their products infringe patents owned by the Danish company.
The lawyers describe the toys as “strikingly and substantially similar” to Lego's according to the BBC, and they have filed lawsuit to the US International Trade Commission. The hope is to have the products banned from being imported into the US.
Mega Bloks, Lite Brix, and Best-Lock are the three companies whose toys are being targeted, and all carry out manufacturing outside of the US. Lego itself manufactures in Europe and Mexico.
The particular range Lego is trying to protect is called Lego Friends, and it is aimed at girls. The lawyers say each character from this set is “named, has a back story and career”. One such figurine, which it accuses the competitors of replicating too closely, is “Figure with Skirt”.
Until 1988, when its patent for the “Toy Building Brick” expired, Lego completely dominated the brick-based toy market.