I bought some Wise Hawk mini blocks (about 100 pieces) for me and my family in Hungary online from China. But the customs office has seized it, saying it is an unlicensed copy of LEGO and I committed a crime. I asked my supplier from Alibaba, who told me these pieces are of a smaller size than LEGO and thus need no licence. But LEGO wants to sue me and want to destroy my stuff at the customs. Is that true, did I commit a crime when I ordered this toy online?

response from the seller confirming their product is intentionally different from LEGO

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    Szervusz! Looks like you got caught in the efforts of a slightly over-zealous customs office in Hungary. The LEGO group has been cracking down on counterfeits recently - there was a big customs crackdown on Alibaba shipments containing illegally cloned sets in Germany about a month ago for example - and your shipment might have been lumped in with a similar effort in Budapest. Sajnalom!
    – Phil B.
    Jun 25, 2019 at 1:33
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    tbh, I'd not trust Alibaba to tell the truth when it comes to whether something is legal or not... But in this case it does look like someone mistakenly classified the product as counterfeit, maybe being unaware that the patent on the design of lego bricks has expired.
    – jwenting
    Jun 26, 2019 at 11:13
  • Guys thanks all of your time and answer. Still don't really know what to do... I should get you more details. But jeppp I fell somehow it's ower especially I'm just a noone with face to LEGO and loyers and the costume. I was stupide to belive is not the same as lego.... but still with the common sence camone... ok let it goooooo . thaks for all of your time....
    – Steve
    Jun 26, 2019 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


AFAIK you did not commit any crimes, as buying conterfeit products is not considered a crime - even if your wares were counterfeit, but they are probably not, since the basic brick design is not patented anymore and these blocks are decidedly made different and incompatible.

Can you post the original message you received from the Hungarian customs agency? I happen to know Hungarian, and others might too. Maybe they are misinterpreting something.

Anyways, I'd answer the customs agency by telling them about the intentional design differences, the expired patent of the studs-and-tubes brick design and attaching the answer you have received from your Alibaba seller. The surefire way would be to acquire the assistance of a local lawyer, but cost-wise that would probably not be worth it.

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    knowingly importing a counterfeit product would likely be a crime, as you're an active participant. It's no different from importing say elephant tusks, which is also illegal. If you were sent either as a gift, it'd just be confiscated. If you bring them across the border yourself (or have them sent to you after purchasing) you're involved in trafficking illegal goods.
    – jwenting
    Jun 26, 2019 at 11:16
  • If I get an email adress then I can send you a picture of the letter from the lawyer
    – Steve
    Jun 26, 2019 at 19:58
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    I'd just upload it here, but it you are reluctant to do so, my email address is my username here, then an @ and ends with the usual gmail suffix.
    – zovits
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:49
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    Update: It turned out that OP has ordered about 200 minifigures (which are still patented) to be used at a summer camp and the quantity has lead the regional legal representatives to suspect they were intended for resale.
    – zovits
    Jul 8, 2019 at 11:25

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