Is the AR15 Design Patented?


PDA






Kynoch
January 28, 2013, 06:00 PM
Is the AR15 design patented? If it is, who owns the patent?

Back when the US Gov't signed the first contract with Colt to purchase M16's, did the gov't also purchase the design? Was the design somehow released to the public domain or are clone-makers paying licensing fees?

Are the non-Colt AR15 clones that proliferate today actually based upon the government's Technical Data Package or are they reverse engineered? If the design is patented and they are merely reverse engineered, why hasn't Colt or the gov't taken any action?

The reason that I ask is that Russia actually has a patent on the AK-47 and variants and does enforce it worldwide based on what I have read. Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is the AR15 Design Patented?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Grump
January 28, 2013, 06:10 PM
Patents expire.

Both design's patent protections went away decades ago.

Copyright is a bit different, can be renewed once a certain number of years after the death of the creator. Disney wants to change that.

Trademark is even more different. Think Coca-Cola, and witness the silliness surrounding the 6.5 Grendel a few years ago.

Lemann
January 28, 2013, 06:18 PM
Remember that Armalite is the only "AR-15" I have an EA-15, JLM-90, and I think palmetto state uses PSA-15.

edit: i didnt read your whole post. my educated guess is there were patent fees before the patent expired. or there was enough difference between the FA M16 and the semi auto AR to not need it.

cyclopsshooter
January 28, 2013, 06:21 PM
Colt is AR-15, the new Armalites go by M-15, unless you are referring to the AR as Armalite

Lemann
January 28, 2013, 06:31 PM
thank you for the correction. I always want to lump armalite in there since they have the AR10 and AR50

Kynoch
January 28, 2013, 06:54 PM
I really wasn't asking about the name, I was asking about the design of the M16/AR15.

The reason I ask is that a Russian government associated business Rosoboronexport is successfully defending the copyright of the AK-47. Not just the name but the design.

http://www.manufacturing.net/news/2009/10/russia-to-defend-ak-47-assault-rifle-copyright

boricua9mm
January 28, 2013, 07:12 PM
The patents have long since expired. On the other hand, the fine details of the technical data was closely guarded until recently, when the Gov't took possession of it. At this point, thje Gov't can dispose with that info as they see fit for contract solicitations, but royalties must be paid back to the big "C." The fine/minute details still largely remain a mystery, and to be honest, the majority of AR manufacturers are not even building the guns to the technical data that we do know. For that reason, contrary to popular belief, parts ain't parts, and that DPMS isn't "just as good as" a Colt. Of course, such debates have graced The High Road for as long as I can remember. Even at the end of the world last December 21st there was still people trying to justify mystery frankenbuilds as being fit for fighting use. :D

ApacheCoTodd
January 28, 2013, 07:27 PM
There're still a couple three dimensional aspects of Colt specific AR's that you don't wanna go near as a manufacturer. Colt has a real easy, professional, and discreet way of giving you the "wave of"... once. Generally it's just known by other true manufacturers (not the assembly houses so much) and a few accessory manufacturers who've run afoul with the assumption that all patent protections are listed with the original expired drawings.

Kynoch
January 28, 2013, 10:12 PM
The patents have long since expired. On the other hand, the fine details of the technical data was closely guarded until recently, when the Gov't took possession of it. At this point, thje Gov't can dispose with that info as they see fit for contract solicitations, but royalties must be paid back to the big "C." The fine/minute details still largely remain a mystery, and to be honest, the majority of AR manufacturers are not even building the guns to the technical data that we do know. For that reason, contrary to popular belief, parts ain't parts, and that DPMS isn't "just as good as" a Colt. Of course, such debates have graced The High Road for as long as I can remember. Even at the end of the world last December 21st there was still people trying to justify mystery frankenbuilds as being fit for fighting use. :D

The US gov't has had the Technical Data Package of the M16 before they let the first contract for it in the early 1960's. That much I am certain. Obviously the TDP has been updated many times since.

The TDP for the M16 in its entirety has been issued to more than one supplier and developer -- people who were developing different parts/versions based on the M16.

I don't believe Bushmaster (for instance) pays Colt a royalty for every AR clone they build and I'm curious as to why not if people are paying royalties to knock-off the AR-47?

Auto426
January 28, 2013, 10:35 PM
The article that was linked above states that a patent was acquired in 1997, though I doubt it's for the original AK-47 which has long since been out of production. Though I don't know the specifics of Russian patent law, I'm guessing that a patent aquired in 1997 would still have been valid back in 2009 when the article was published.

As for the AR the patents expired long ago in the US, which is why just about every company out there is producing their own. Boricua9mm was actually referencing the TDP for the M4 Carbine, which the government acquired possession of in I believe 2009. It's contents are still largely a secret to all but a handful of companies who produce the parts that go into .gov's rifles.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is the AR15 Design Patented?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!