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Posted: 12/8/2005 1:08:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 1:09:00 PM EDT by Accord]
I just went to the Bushmaster website and found this on the main page, wow:


BUSHMASTER WINS TRADEMARK CASE BROUGHT BY COLT DEFENSE LLC.

Windham, ME (December 8th, 2005) - Richard Dyke, Chairman and principal stockholder of Bushmaster Firearms, is pleased with a December 6 decision of the United States District Court in Maine granting summary judgment for Bushmaster in a trademark case brought by Colt Defense, LLC. In the case, Colt accused Bushmaster of infringing the “M4” trademark and the trade dress of the M4, both of which Colt claimed it owned to the exclusion of others in the industry. In addition to denying Colt’s infringement claims, the Court granted judgment for Bushmaster on its claim for cancellation of Colt’s federal trademark registration for the “M4”.

Dyke said he is pleased, not only for Bushmaster, but for the entire firearms industry. “Colt has for years made all sorts of claims as to rights it asserted belonged only to it,” he said. “And this case clearly shows Colt has been overstating its rights. In this case, the Court determined that the right to use the M4 term and to sell firearms that look like the M4 type, are rights that belong to the industry, not just Colt.”

The Court’s order affirmed a prior recommended decision of a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the case. Among other things, the Magistrate’s decision:

* Held that the M4 is generic term which merely describes a type of firearm, and is not an identifier of Colt as a sole source for such firearms. In doing so, the decision noted that more than a dozen firearm manufacturers other than Colt have used the term M4 for years to refer to military-style carbines with collapsible buttstocks and shortened barrels. Since the M4 term is generic, the court granted judgment for Bushmaster that Colt’s federal trademark registration for the M4 should be cancelled.

* Dismissed Colt’s claim for infringement of M4 trade dress both because the alleged trade dress is primarily non-functional and because Colt could not establish that the buying public associated the look of the M4 only with Colt.

* Dismissed Colt’s claims for infringement of the terms M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO because it concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion among purchasers as to the source of Bushmaster’s products.

The Court also held Colt could recover no damages on its only remaining claim under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.



www.bushmaster.com
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:13:39 PM EDT
Although I prefer Colt over Bushy, my outlook on that whole ordeal leads me to this.

HA-HA!
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:13:57 PM EDT
Interesting! Thanks for Posting!
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:19:41 PM EDT
Wow!! Does this mean people are going to go out and get their "XM15-E1" Bushmasters remarked to say "M4 Carbine"? I'm sure not! Good for Bushmaster though.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:25:48 PM EDT
They also dismissed Colt's claims for infringement of the term AR-15.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:26:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Accord:
They also dismissed Colt's claims for infringement of the term AR-15.



As well as all of the M16 variations.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:28:30 PM EDT
I would expect to see M4, Commando, and similar markings becoming standard pretty quick....
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:29:22 PM EDT
Hmmmmm. So if Bushy technically could market their "M4 type" clone as a M4, every one else could now call their rifles AR15's?

I'd say that's a step to far, but I thought it was BS that Colt sued Bushy for saying "M4 type". Looks like one of your all time back fires if that's the case.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:31:04 PM EDT
It was unfortunate that Colt wasted people's time and money on a frivolous lawsuit in the first place.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:32:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 1:34:08 PM EDT by PBIR]
Does Colt have the option of appealing to scotus? I think they do. If so we should see a motion for injunction filed soon.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:33:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 1:34:57 PM EDT by GhostRing]
Please pardon my ingnorance...

Does this only apply to select fire models?
Is my semi (Ameetec lower) no longer an "M4gery"?
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:38:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GhostRing:
Please pardon my ingnorance...

Does this only apply to select fire models?
Is my semi (Ameetec lower) no longer an "M4gery"?


It looks like the days of calling M4 clones M4'geries may be gone.

I think it's BS that Colt sued for saying M4 type, but this seems a little drastic to me.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:43:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 2:21:20 PM EDT by JohnTheTexican]

Originally Posted By PBIR:
Does Colt have the option of appealing to scotus? I think they do. If so we should see a motion for injunction filed soon.



They can appeal it to the Fourth First Circuit Court of Appeals. If they lose there, they can ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.



Originally Posted By GhostRing:
Please pardon my ingnorance...

Does this only apply to select fire models?
Is my semi (Ameetec lower) no longer an "M4gery"?



It would apply to anything. Basically, the court said that "M4" and "AR-15" are generic terms that aren't uniquely associated with Colt's products, and that just because people call it an AR-15, people aren't going to think that a Bushmaster's a Colt. And, of course, the court's right.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:44:08 PM EDT
Feedramps. I must have feedramps!
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:47:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 1:53:59 PM EDT by Va_Dinger]
This news is going to break some hearts.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:55:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

It would apply to anything. Basically, the court said that "M4" and "AR-15" are generic terms that aren't uniquely associated with Colt's products, and that just because people call it an AR-15, people aren't going to think that a Bushmaster's a Colt. And, of course, the court's right.



Not a lawyer, but I read it that the Judge said that Colt's M4 TM is no good. In regards to other TM's like AR-15 the Judge did not say the TM was no good, just that Bushmaster did not infringe on those, it's not like Bushmaster was stamping thier rifles AR-15 or anything like that.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:55:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:

Originally Posted By GhostRing:
Please pardon my ingnorance...

Does this only apply to select fire models?
Is my semi (Ameetec lower) no longer an "M4gery"?


It looks like the days of calling M4 clones M4'geries may be gone.

I think it's BS that Colt sued for saying M4 type, but this seems a little drastic to me.



That was the risk that Colt took bringing a suit like this to court. They lost big time, but its not too surprising given similar trademark infringement cases over the years. I have to wonder why they thought they could win.

A very similar case I can remember is that Intel sued several clone-chip vendors (including AMD, Cyrix, etc) back in the 90's for names similar to their 80486 processor and lost, which is why they went to more distinctive names like Pentium, Xeon, Itanium, etc, for their later products.

The courts have usually not liked upholding very short and/or largely numeric trademarks. I think most people would agree that M4 and AR15 certainly qualify as both. And even if other mfrs didn't actually label their products exactly as such (my lower receiver is marked "J-15"), certainly most people in the community recognized that the products were work-alikes and generally referred to all similar types as AR15s or M4s. By allowing for that dilution for so long, it probably weakened their case.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:55:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
This is going to break some hearts on ARFCOM.



well It looks like I'll be getting and M4 SEBR for Christmas

-minus the feedramps
-minus M4 handguards
-minus milspec sights
-minus milspec buttstock


-I will let the muzzle device and barrel inspection process slide

I think it serves COLT right for trying to have a monopoly
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 1:58:25 PM EDT
clot--->

Link Posted: 12/8/2005 2:05:24 PM EDT
In the windows bar at the top when on the Bushy site, didn't it used to say AR15 type rifles, and not just AR15?

Also, the court says that Colt can't claim infringement rights on the terms M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO. So if a company were to call their AR type rifle an AR15, Colt would not have any say over it. Atleast that's what I get out of it.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 2:20:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 6:10:41 PM EDT by JohnTheTexican]

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

It would apply to anything. Basically, the court said that "M4" and "AR-15" are generic terms that aren't uniquely associated with Colt's products, and that just because people call it an AR-15, people aren't going to think that a Bushmaster's a Colt. And, of course, the court's right.



Not a lawyer, but I read it that the Judge said that Colt's M4 TM is no good. In regards to other TM's like AR-15 the Judge did not say the TM was no good, just that Bushmaster did not infringe on those, it's not like Bushmaster was stamping thier rifles AR-15 or anything like that.




I am a lawyer.

It appears that the judge revoked the trademark registration on the M4 because Bushmaster countersued on that one. With respect to AR15, Commando, etc., the court said Colt wasn't entitled to relief because people weren't going to think a Bushy is a Colt just because they call it an AR15.


ETA: Never go by what a party to the case says in its press release.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 2:52:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

It would apply to anything. Basically, the court said that "M4" and "AR-15" are generic terms that aren't uniquely associated with Colt's products, and that just because people call it an AR-15, people aren't going to think that a Bushmaster's a Colt. And, of course, the court's right.



Not a lawyer, but I read it that the Judge said that Colt's M4 TM is no good. In regards to other TM's like AR-15 the Judge did not say the TM was no good, just that Bushmaster did not infringe on those, it's not like Bushmaster was stamping thier rifles AR-15 or anything like that.




I am a lawyer.

It appears that the judge revoked the trademark registration on the M4 because Bushmaster countersued on that one. With respect to AR15, Commando, etc., the court said Colt wasn't entitled to relief because people weren't going to think a Bushy is a Colt just because they call it an AR15.



I'm not a lawyer and that's exactly how I read it
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:21:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 3:24:47 PM EDT by Ekie]

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

It would apply to anything. Basically, the court said that "M4" and "AR-15" are generic terms that aren't uniquely associated with Colt's products, and that just because people call it an AR-15, people aren't going to think that a Bushmaster's a Colt. And, of course, the court's right.



Not a lawyer, but I read it that the Judge said that Colt's M4 TM is no good. In regards to other TM's like AR-15 the Judge did not say the TM was no good, just that Bushmaster did not infringe on those, it's not like Bushmaster was stamping thier rifles AR-15 or anything like that.




I am a lawyer.



It appears that the judge revoked the trademark registration on the M4 because Bushmaster countersued on that one. With respect to AR15, Commando, etc., the court said Colt wasn't entitled to relief because people weren't going to think a Bushy is a Colt just because they call it an AR15.



Agreed, but that don't mean Bushmaster can stamp thier rifles AR-15. Judge says that M4 is "generic", but did not say that about AR-15. In other words M4 TM is out, and the AR-15 TM is still good.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:29:27 PM EDT
I will celebrate with a big glass of KOOL-AID!

Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:39:17 PM EDT
Perhaps Colt should have used all that time and money for CIVILIAN customer service ---it almost certainly would have been a better use of their resources
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:39:34 PM EDT
Forgive my complete ignorance, but isn't M4 the U.S. Military designation for the rifle in question? How could a private company get a TM on a military designation? Or did Colt actually come up with the M4 nomenclature?

It must always be a sad day when the name of a product your company makes gets used so often in a generic sense that people start to lose association with your company.

Now if you excuse me, I'll go blow my nose on some kleenex (made by Walmart), then I'm going to use my Canon copier to xerox some important papers, then go out to my toolshed to use my crescent wrench made by Craftsman and my phillips screwdriver made by Stanley. I have a Black & Decker dremel and a Husquevarna weedeater, too.

Greg
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:39:53 PM EDT

The Court also held Colt could recover no damages on its only remaining claim under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.


www.bushmaster.com

This would mean Colt can not pursue action under the Lanham act. HERE is a link providing the details of that specific act.

What I get out of that, is that Colt can't pursue legal action under this section, reguarding the names listed earlier. It appears that all of the names listed are no longer Colt's to claim as theirs.

Colt pursued legal action over Bushmaster's use of the term M4 in the designation "M4 Type". In turn, Colt lost the rights to the name M4 all together, as well as the ability to act legally over the use of AR15, CAR, Match Target, M16, Commando, and M4.

Being stripped of their legal rights to make a claim over these 'infringements" means that Colt can do nothing when other people use them.

If I am wrong, please correct me, but that is the way it appears to me.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:47:57 PM EDT
Does this mean there will be a big sale on the old stock?
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 3:54:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:00:06 PM EDT
I no longer own an RRA entry tactical. Now I just own an RRA M4. Hmm interesting. Makes it easier to keep track of the names I suppose.

Anyway, it isnt about what you call the gun, it's about how the gun performs
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:01:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf





Colt sued over the use of two heat shields and won?

Who cares?


They just lost "M4, M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO".

Not that these labels mean much in themselves, but some of you guys seem to think so.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:04:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:07:45 PM EDT by JohnTheTexican]

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf



That deals with Colt's patent on the double heat sheild. It has nothing to do with the trademark issues.

ETA: And the patent expires at the end of the month. Next year, anyone can make the double shield handguards.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:04:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:05:34 PM EDT by olds442tyguy]

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf


So Colt won the shielded handguard debate?

Only 22 days until anyone can make the dual shielded handguards. Looks like Bushy payed a premium for making them earlier.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:05:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf


So Colt won the shielded handguard debate?



Yep.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:06:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf



That deals with Colt's patent on the double heat sheild. It has nothing to do with the trademark issues.



Got a link to the trademark issues?
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:06:15 PM EDT

no likelihood of confusion among purchasers

And that's the real point of trademarks, to protect the buyers. Most people, and especially journalists, just seem to miss that.z
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:07:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
They just lost "M4, M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO".



Yes, they lost M4, but I don't see where it says they lost the name AR-15.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:09:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:09:46 PM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
They just lost "M4, M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO".



Yes, they lost M4, but I don't see where it says they lost the name AR-15.



I just read this line:

"Dismissed Colt’s claims for infringement of the terms M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO because it concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion among purchasers as to the source of Bushmaster’s products."
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:10:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:29:33 PM EDT by JohnTheTexican]

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf



That deals with Colt's patent on the double heat sheild. It has nothing to do with the trademark issues.



Got a link to the trademark issues?



Here.

ETA: AR15.com, "an extremely popular online resource for firearm enthusiasts," gets a mention on page 21.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:12:37 PM EDT
Colt can no longer pursue legal action based on the Lanham Act reguarding "generic" terms such as the ones listed above. This would mean they no longer have any say over those names, or others useage of them.

I will wait to see as that's only what I get out of it after limited research into the subject. Hopefully there will be a more efficient announcement soon.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:12:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
They just lost "M4, M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO".



Yes, they lost M4, but I don't see where it says they lost the name AR-15.



I just read this line:

"Dismissed Colt’s claims for infringement of the terms M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO because it concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion among purchasers as to the source of Bushmaster’s products."



Correct, dismissed, they had no case, because it is not like Bushmaster was stamping thier rifles AR-15. If they had been doing that, the claim would not have been dismissed.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:14:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By JohnTheTexican:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
www.med.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Singal/2005/GZS_11222005_2-05cv90_COLT_v_BUSHMASTER.pdf



That deals with Colt's patent on the double heat sheild. It has nothing to do with the trademark issues.



Got a link to the trademark issues?



Here.



Thank you sir, will read up.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:16:10 PM EDT
Bravo.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:17:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:18:39 PM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
They just lost "M4, M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO".



Yes, they lost M4, but I don't see where it says they lost the name AR-15.



I just read this line:

"Dismissed Colt’s claims for infringement of the terms M16, CAR, MATCH TARGET, AR-15 and COMMANDO because it concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion among purchasers as to the source of Bushmaster’s products."



Correct, dismissed, they had no case, because it is not like Bushmaster was stamping thier rifles AR-15. If they had been doing that, the claim would not have been dismissed.



Thats one way to look at it. I read it the other way but I'm certianly no lawyer. Time will tell I guess what this really means.

Like I said, these are just labels that really mean nothing. I know some of you Colt guys hold the term "AR15" near & dear to your hearts, but they are all AR15's in my book.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:26:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:27:11 PM EDT by olds442tyguy]
In that article, the myth of Bushmaster M4's that reached service are put to rest.


Bushmaster and the ARMY entered into a contract persuant to which Bushmaster was to provide sixty five carbines having "all the physical and technical characteristics of the M4 Carbine".
Page 12.

ArfCom gets a shout out as well on page 21!
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:36:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/8/2005 4:37:01 PM EDT by olds442tyguy]
Colt also tried to merge with Bushmaster, but Bushy denied them becasue Colt wouldn't drop the charges. This happened in 1999 and is mentioned on page 36.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:51:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:
In that article, the myth of Bushmaster M4's that reached service are put to rest.


Bushmaster and the ARMY entered into a contract persuant to which Bushmaster was to provide sixty five carbines having "all the physical and technical characteristics of the M4 Carbine".
Page 12.

ArfCom gets a shout out as well on page 21!



Bunch of good stuff in there.......
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 4:54:11 PM EDT



Ha-Ha!



Suck it down, you anti-civilian pieces of dog shit!

Maybe next time you'll spend time and money improving your product line, instead of trying to damage a fellow firearms manufacturer.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 5:02:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NeoCon007:



Ha-Ha!



Suck it down, you anti-civilian pieces of dog shit!

Maybe next time you'll spend time and money improving your product line, instead of trying to damage a fellow firearms manufacturer.



If one of the two companies needs to improve its product line, its the one in Maine, not the one in Connecticut.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 5:10:51 PM EDT
One of BFI's customers is indeed the Department of Energy. I know this because an operator for DOE told me how much they didn't like BFI products, and that Colt was superior.
Link Posted: 12/8/2005 5:11:37 PM EDT
There is likely room for improvement in both companies' lines.

Interesting news, nonetheless.
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