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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

GLOCK V. AirSplat: Complaint Against Unlicensed Airsoft Replicas

In the continual exploration of trademark protection GLOCK is striking out against Airsoft replicas of their handguns in a lawsuit against the operators of several business entities best recognized as AirSplat. From what we can tell AirSplat and associated companies are importing functional airsoft handguns with a GLOCK likeness along with utilizing the trademark names of their various for distribution and direct sales within the United States. In the complaint AirSplat claims to be the largest Airsoft Retailer in the country. Apparently, they are not giving GLOCK a taste of the action, which has lead to legal action in Georgia focusing on trademark infringement along with associated complaints against use of trade dress and related tactics associated with marketing and sales. 

WE G19 Airsoft Gas Blowback Gun Tan
In our naive notion of how business should be done, we would have assumed a company would purchase licensing to replicate a product and utilize trademarks. It notes in the complaint that AirSplat does purchase licensing for replicas of firearms manufactured by COLT, Walther, and SIG Sauer, however GLOCK is not one of them. As you can see in the photo above, they don't specifically state GLOCK, but there is definitely some similarity to say the least. Not to mention the distinct G19, Gen4, along with other distinct markings that scream GLOCK.

GLOCK G19 Gen4 FDE from Lipsey's 


In response too all infringement claims GLOCK is requesting all profits from the sales of the replicas, damages sustained by GLOCK which may be quite substantial, triplicate of the actual damages, any sum deemed appropriate by the court, attorney's and legal fees, interest, and the destruction of all replicas. Of course they want further infringements to cease. 

We think it goes without saying that GLOCK has a strong case. This could serve as a strong example to all importers who look to replicate the success of manufacturers through any replica whether it be a similar product or scaled down version utilized for training or leisure. It doesn't stop with handguns of course and definitely carries over into firearms accessories among any other product you may conjure up. Perhaps they considered licensing but were turned down or simply didn't want to hear the wrong answer. This is merely conjecture that may go in several other directions. In the scheme of things many different entities should be aware of this case to understand where they may be headed if they decide to take similar actions when looking to make a buck. 

The complaint not only dwells on the violations alleged to have been committed, but also provides you with a thorough overview of GLOCK and how their brand has been developed. You can view the complete complaint at the following link: Glock V. Wu et. al.

5 comments:

  1. Looks like they have lots of those Glocks! http://www.airsplat.com/G18-G19-Airsoft-Guns.htm

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  2. Glock, Inc. is the greatest "patent troll" violator of the century. Allegation
    See: Glock, Inc. v Smith and Wesson
    Glock, Inc. v Maxsell Corp & Vico Confino
    and others

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    Replies
    1. agreed. hopefully one day they're finally lose!

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  3. The truth is that Glock, Inc. received a DESIGN patent from the US Patent Office by submitting questionable documentation.
    The truth is that Glock, Inc. designs are FUNCTIONAL under US Patent laws..
    It is almost impossible to have the US Patent Office void the Glock patent as submitted under the original patent rules and regulations. Everyone in the industry knows that Glock has unlimited funds to spend on preventing the US Patent office voiding their DESIGN patent. Patent law provides that if a company has just one of their patents voided, all other patents can also be voided.
    If the Glock patents were challenged and they were to lose in court, they would then take their case to the Court of Appeals. Should they lose in the Court of Appeals they would then appeal to the Supreme Court.
    Any attorney would tell you, this could be delayed for five or more years.
    S&W tried fighting it and after spending 2 million dollars in legal fees finally capitulated and gave Glock a reported 6 million dollars for a license to manufacture their illegal copy by making a few minor changes in their design.
    I agree with Gaston Glock as he writes in his book that "Americans are stupid".
    Anonymous

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  4. Glock will never lose a patent trade dress lawsuit.
    They have unlimited funds to keep the defendants in a lawsuit until they run them out of money to pay their lawyers.
    If by some miracle they lose in Federal Court they will move to the Court of Appeals.
    If they lose in the Court of Appeals they will move to the Supreme Court.
    The time frame to get there is five years.
    Smith & Wesson spent two million dollars in legal fees until they decided they could not win. The benevolent Gaston Glock sold them a license to allow them to manufacture their guns with a minor change for a reported six million dollars.

    Allegation: The truth is that Glock obtained their original patent by submitting questionable claims to receive a DESIGN patent.
    Allegation: The truth is that Glock pistols are FUNCTIONAL and should never been approved by the US Patent Office.
    In the Glock v Maxsell lawsuit they ran the legal fees up to $550,000 dollars and the Maxsell insurance company capitulated and threw Maxsell under the bus to avoid a more costly legal defense. Maxsell was coerced into contributing $25,000 to the $550,000 settlement to avoid having their insurance company withdraw from there defense.
    Allegation: Maxsell exposed an attorney who made numerous threats against Mr. Confino (that were registered with the Bar Association). A short time after the settlement agreement Maxsell had all their import shipments seized by US Customs Border Protection in Miami.
    Allegation: The Maxsell shipments were placed in a government contractors warehouse who then bills the government for triple their rent. By delaying the negotiations to release the shipments the warehouse penalties for storage etc have now escalated to over $25,000.
    Appeals to the Office of Inspector General have not been responded to. Requests to the US Commerce Department under the freedom of information act to see their seizure order and who signed off on it have not been received.
    As it stands today, Maxsell is running out of inventory and giving customer requests for refunds. The inventory Maxsell has already paid the manufacturer and needs to stay in business is detained in the government warehouse.
    Local Congessman Ted Deutch and Senator Marco Rubio have been unsuccessful in getting the shipments released.
    Maxsell has been established for 27 years and has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+. Mr. Confino is a law abiding citizen who is being forced out of business by government complacency and unreasonable demands by the US Custom Border Protection.
    Allegation: The attorneys who represented Maxsell in the Glock lawsuit labeled it
    a vendetta and extortion.

    A customs attorney in Washington DC asked for a $20,000 retainer before he would discuss the situation.
    Another customs attorney said his hourly fee was $900 per hour.
    Freedom is not free. Speak up or lose it.

    You are invited to express your opinion whatever it may be at:
    33vico@gmail.com






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