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Court of Appeals Affirms that "M4" is Generic

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Henry Bowman, May 21, 2007.

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  1. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    For those of you who may care, on Friday (May 18) the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court (Maine) ruling in Colt Defense, LLC v. Bushmaster Firearms that the term "M4" is a generic designation for a type of carbine, not a protectable trademark that distinguishes one brand from another.

    The district court had also ruled that the product configuration trade dress (look) of the M4 carbine was functional and, therefore, not protectable as an indicator of source (brand). This issue was not appealed.
     

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  2. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

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    hmmm. wonder if HK's settlement with Colt is null and void.
     
  3. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Member

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    I didn't know Colt decided to appeal the matter after the first time the Courts ruled in favor of Bushmaster.
     
  4. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    I don't know the details of it. Some aspects may survive, but parts would be questionable. Colt has no trademark rights in "M4" to assert, but may have contractual rights to assert against H&K. Would have been smart for H&K to insist on an "unless and until a court issues a final order declaring that Colt has no rights..." I don't know if they did.
     
  5. redsaber75

    redsaber75 Member

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    As I understand it, M4 is a government designation that is technically in the public domain.
     
  6. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Good News

    as I own a COLT M4~! ;):D
     
  7. .cheese.

    .cheese. Member

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    actually - that's bad news for you. Means that others can be called M4. If only yours could be called M4, it might even gain more resale value.
     
  8. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    That is basically what the district court found and the court of appeals affirmed.
     
  9. helpless

    helpless Member

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    Interesting case.
     
  10. romma

    romma Member

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    Maybe we can call one "Original M4" and everything else "Extra Crispy M4"... Or is that a Trademark violation?
     
  11. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Am I still okay calling my Bushy an M-4gery, or is there now no such thing?
     
  12. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    I think M4gery referred to neutered M4s, fake flash hider (or muzzle brake), no bayonet lug, fixed telestock, etc, during the '94 ban?

    Kharn
     
  13. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, "real" M4s still have the happy switch and a 14.5" barrel, so the number of actual M4s out there in non-military hands is very small.

    The rest are still just M4geries....
     
  14. romma

    romma Member

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    I am in CT, and my Bushy has all those neutered features...

    Oh well, at least bullets still come out of the front thingy! :barf:

    What a silly law!
     
  15. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    I have a Bushmaster M4A3, I just call it my AR:D
     
  16. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Thank goodness. I can only tolerate so much abrupt change at one time...
     
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