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Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 07:59 GMT
Lego agrees to stop using Maori names

The Danish toymaker, Lego, is to stop making a multi-million-dollar range of toys after protests from New Zealand Maori groups, which claimed the company had appropriated their language and images for use in its products.

After meeting Maori lawyers and claimants in the New Zealand city of Auckland, Lego's senior executive, Brian Soerensen acknowledged the company had used Maori words in the company's "Bionicle" range of toys.

The company had initially contested the Maoris' case for greater protection of intellectual property.

Lego has now offered to help draft a code of conduct for toy manufacturers wanting to use traditional knowledge in their products.

The Maoris had complained about the use of more than 10 Maori words to name the Bionicle toys.

Maori, a Polynesian people, make up around 13% of New Zealand's population.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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