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SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 22 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's competition authority said that it has rejected a complaint over an alleged product imitation filed by Danish toys and games manufacturer Lego System, part of LEGO Group, against local companies Janet and Mar 2000.
The anti-trust body has found no evidence of unlawful competition practices as the two companies are not the manufacturers of the respective products - Nesebar-based Janet is a retail company, while Sofia-based Mar 2000 is a distributor, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the claimant, construction toys of the brands BELA and LY, which are distributed by Mar 2000 and offered by Janet in its hypermarkets in Nesebar, on the Black Sea, are an imitation of its LEGO construction toys and thus the defendants are violating the copyrights held by Denmark-based LEGO Juris, another subsidiary of LEGO Group.
The operations of the Bulgarian companies on the local market may have a harmful impact on the demand for LEGO toys on that same market, as the prices of the imitation products are up to three times lower than those of the original toys, LEGO System claims.
Janet and Mar 2000 argue that the claimant holds no licence for the respective products in the European Union Intellectual Property Office. They add that they have no competition relations with the claimant as LEGO System is not currently directly shipping its products to Bulgaria.
Construction toys of the brands BELA and LY have already been withdrawn from the only Janet store where they were offered, the retailer said.
The regulator's decision can be appealed by interested parties before Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court within 14 days.
Earlier this week, Bulgaria's anti-trust body rejected a Lego System complaint over product imitation filed against local toys retailer OMI-2004 on similar groundss.