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Posted: 1/9/2005 11:37:13 PM EDT
April 21, 2004, Hartford, Connecticut – Colt Defense LLC today filed suit against Bushmaster Firearms, Inc. and Heckler & Koch and demanded that the two companies end their illegal marketing campaigns with respect to the Colt® M4® carbine.

In its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Colt cited acts of trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, false advertising, patent infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. Colt is seeking injunctive relief and damages against the two companies.

Colt is the leading supplier of military and law enforcement weaponry and related products to the U.S. Government and many American allies. It holds a sole source contract to exclusively supply the M4 carbine to all branches of the U.S. military. Only Colt may manufacture an authentic M4 carbine; those made by others are imitations.

The M4 carbine evolved from the most combat-proven family of weapons, the Colt-developed M16 rifle. To develop this carbine, Colt at its own expense integrated 40 years of combat experience of the M16 rifle with advances in technology. Colt then offered this carbine to the U.S. Army that subjected it to a multi-year certification process before finally accepting it for use by American troops.

"This case is about the systematic efforts of Bushmaster and Heckler & Koch to confront us, not as competitors on a level playing field, but with unlawful marketing practices that misrepresent the nature of their products and disparage the products of Colt Defense," said Colt’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Lieutenant General William M. Keys, USMC (retired).

"Colt’s products have been the mainstay of the U.S. military for over 100 years, and have played a significant role in both World Wars and the Vietnamese conflict. Today, our products are in the hands of our elite forces in Iraq. Our reputation was earned the hard way, on the battlefield. And it is our battle-tested reputation that these defendants are attempting to exploit by selling M4 knockoffs," said General Keys.

According to the complaint, both Bushmaster and Heckler & Koch are intentionally and illegally blurring the distinction between their products and the products manufactured by Colt, particularly the M4 carbine. Both Bushmaster and Heckler & Koch have developed copycat versions of the M4 to profit from Colt’s good name and reputation.

In a transparent attempt to mislead potential customers into believing that they are buying "American Made" products, Heckler & Koch, whose principal place of business is Oberndorf, Germany, falsely states that it will manufacture firearms in a plant in Georgia that does not yet exist. In fact, Heckler & Koch’s manufacturing and engineering is performed outside the country, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Bushmaster, which has no legal right or authority to sell to the U.S. military, has intentionally and illegally incorporated the look and feel of the Colt M4 into its "M4 type" carbine. By duplicating the appearance of a real M4 weapon, and employing calculated marketing that blurs the distinction between Colt’s products and their own, Bushmaster deceptively markets its "M4 type" carbine to the civilian market and foreign governments, hoping that consumers will confuse the goodwill associated with the Colt brand with Bushmaster, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that Bushmaster has plagiarized Colt’s M16 and M4 parts numbers. By doing so, Bushmaster intentionally misrepresents to its non-military customers that Bushmaster parts are interchangeable with Colt’s AR-15®, M16™ and M4® products – a misrepresentation that could have serious safety repercussions.

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:42:08 PM EDT
Sounds like Colt doesn't like people taking peices from it's wholly-monopolized pie.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 6:53:05 AM EDT
Old news - Dupe to the infinite power....
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:44:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 7:53:59 AM EDT
Hey it's new to me. I have not heard this yet. Sound like colt doesn't like compatition. I would much rather have a bushmaster over an over priced colt any day of the week.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:03:21 AM EDT
Especially since Colt doesn't want it's dealers selling to you without a LEO department letter.
Link Posted: 1/10/2005 8:05:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By c4:
Hey it's new to me. I have not heard this yet. Sound like colt doesn't like compatition. I would much rather have a bushmaster over an over priced colt any day of the week.

I hear a lot of people flame colt for the price and monopoly and not selling to civilians, etc....

if you don't want a colt don't buy one, simple. To me it was worth paying more becuase I carried a colt when I was in the service, so its kind of a nostalgia thing for me.  I also don't think you can beat the quality or testing done on the bolts.  

Whatever floats your boat though go buy it and have fun shooting.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 2:55:21 PM EDT
Bushamster said M4!!!!!!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:13:16 PM EDT
As far as Colt is concerned..If its not a colt its just a copy right infringement law suit,old news but they still suck for suing a fellow manufacturer.But what do you expect from an anti gun company like colt.Hope the company goes down once and for all.I guess they still hold resentment from the 90s when Bushmaster supplied a small number of M4s to the Army,besides I think Bushy has a right to use M4 seeing as how they made a small run for the armed forces.and colt only recently copyrighted M4
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:16:48 PM EDT
Why pay more for the same thing unless you just want the name.

Quality is a non-issue. I haven't heard of Bushmasters falling apart after the first round... but I do appreciate Bushmaster catering to civilians with their barrels: 4150 steel WITH a chrome lined bore AND chamber.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:39:53 PM EDT
It was my understanding that once the military adopted a design they bought the design and right to have whoever they want make it. So would the U.S. military own rights to the M4, not Colt. Hell Colt didn't invint the AR15 anyway (I know this will probablly start a pissing contest but its plain and simple)
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