In 2000, Glock Inc., the American branch of the Austrian handgun manufacturer, began a series of trademark infringement lawsuits against toy manufacturers. The defendants in the vast majority of these cases were manufacturers or distributors of toy guns and blank firing guns.
Bruni, Sportsman’s Guide, Gamo USA, Academy Toy Company and Daisy all fell under fire from Glock’s attorneys for causing consumer confusion among potential customers.
“The shape of various items would be there because that’s a feature of the Glock pistol,” said one of Glock’s attorneys.
Despite the similarity in design, toy gun buyers and Glock buyers are very different consumers. According to the owner of AirSplat, a plastic pellet toy gun manufacturer, toy guns do not interfere with sales of actual guns. Furthermore, toy gun manufacturers suspect that Glock is using its intimidating stature to clear toy gun manufacturers out of the market to make way for their own product.
In response, Glock’s attorneys stated that “[t]his is not David versus Goliath here. It’s asking for compliance.”
Yet the Davids involved tell a very different story. Most recently, Glock has taken legal action against a Miami-based blank gun manufacturer with a total of four employees. Glock even pressured the company to cease production of blank guns that resemble firearms other than Glock, such as the Turkish Zoraki M917.
According to the CEO of the Miami company, Glock’s lawyers used “every dirty legal trick in the book.” He paid Glock over a half a million dollars and emptied his warehouse. He is 81 years old and the future of his business looks bleak.
Large corporations are betting that small businesses (that may not actually infringe on their products) will give in to their demands because they lack legal resources. If you are the victim of predatory intellectual property litigation, you need an attorney that can go up against large corporations without batting an eye.
Attorney Robert G. Klein has represented small to medium-sized businesses in the Los Angeles area for over 25 years. Klein is an aggressive intellectual property lawyer who has brought over 70 cases to trial. If a large corporation is falsely accusing you of trademark infringement, then get in touch with one of our Los Angeles trademark infringement attorneys and schedule a confidential consultation.
[Did You Know: In the past 15 years, Glock has sued 20 different companies for trademark infringement.]
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