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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crye Precision V. Duro Industries

We were quite curious about the exclusive agreement Crye Precision had with Duro Industries to print and distribute MultiCam Fabric. Then we started seeing this year that other companies would be printing the MultiCam camouflage pattern and the exclusive agreement with Duro was clearly no longer in effect. What we didn't know was that no agreement was made with Duro and Crye Precision would no longer be utilizing their services as of this year. Apparently, the two companies did not see eye to eye, however Crye Precision is accusing Duro Industries of continuing to utilize their pattern and saw fit to pursue a lawsuit to obtain damages.



What makes this all very interesting is the aspect that the U.S. Army is utilizing a new pattern now designated as OCP, which has been reported as being based on the Scorpion pattern originally developed by Crye Precision. This pattern is very similar to MultiCam and as word has it was previously designated as Scorpion W2 prior to its transformation to the Operational Camouflage Pattern. This brings to question if Duro Industries has taken it upon themselves to print the pattern for the U.S. Army either in combination with or in lieu to a continuation of printing the MultiCam Pattern for commercial use. 

Feel free to perceive this as mere speculation on our part, but the combination of degeneration in terms with Duro Industries as well as the U.S. Army by Crye Precison seem fairly intriguing. We dug around a bit to no avail for a definitive answer, but you can read the complaint provided below in its entirety and come up with your own determination as to what the situation could possibly be. However, if Duro is willing to ignore the need to license the pattern, why wouldn't they produce a similar pattern for the U.S. Army. 

Several facts are clear with several gleaned from the complaint provided below. First of all MultiCam is a better pattern than UCP, which we feel is rightly included if not merely to put the argument to rest. Perhaps a judge will make a ruling as such. Secondly, Crye Precision feels Duro Industries has been quite naughty in continuing to utilize their screens to print the MultiCam pattern as well as other intellectual property to market the camouflage despite requests to cease and desist. MultiCamFabric.com is still live and under direct control with Duro, so this is certainly no secret that they continue to market the popular camo. Obviously this is quite problematic if other companies are paying licensing fees to manufacture and market products with the MultiCam branding, while Duro is allegedly doing the same without any fees being paid to Crye. 

You may be asking where our aforementioned speculation is derived regarding the new OCP Pattern? A key part of the complaint states: in accordance with Section 3(d) of the Duro License Agreement, enjoining Duro from making any products that are similar to the MultiCam® camouflage pattern through color palette, pattern or arrangement or placement of any elements incorporated in the MultiCam® camouflage pattern; and(iii) in accordance with Section 3(p) of the Duro License Agreement, requiringDuro to return to Crye all print screens for the MultiCam® camouflage pattern or modifications,embellishments, derivative works or other changes of or to the MultiCam® camouflage pattern.


While this allegation could mean any number of things in regards to printing patterns that are similar to MultiCam including an exact copy, it is intriguing to think that Crye Precision may be concerned with Duro just facilitating the U.S. Army's work around with paying them the fees they are due for a pattern that is clearly their production from the beginning. Not to mention that Crye has been reported to have won the Phase IV of the U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort, which was clearly all for naught at this point, aside from the Army just deciding they would go with a similar pattern to avoid paying up. We can imagine that Crye Precision would want its other printers to follow the same agreement in not producing products with a pattern similar to their MultiCam. Of course this would lead the Army to seek manufacturers outside the purview of such agreements.  

Crye Precision is not seeking a mere pittance for this alleged indiscretion. They want a Million in USD$ simply for counterfeiting the MultiCam Trademark. This is in addition to unpaid invoices, lost profits that Crye would have received from the illegal sell of MultiCam printed goods, punitive damages, legal fees, anything else the court wants to throw on, plus interest. This could be quite the bill if Crye is successful in being compensated for their complaint.  We thought the Complaint was interesting in its entirety and you can gain a bit of insight for inner dealings of these fairly secretive companies. Nothing too groundbreaking, but lawsuits do tend to open doors that folks would otherwise prefer were kept closed.