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Ruger Suing Thompson Center over .22 Rifle

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Pat Riot, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I'm not sure on what grounds. Ruger's patent has long ago expired. And Ruger has made a few blatant copies of other guns in the past.
     
  3. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I have taken 10/22's apart many many times

    The field strip video of the TC looks identical!:scrutiny:
     
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  4. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    It's not a patent infringement case, it a trade-dress case, Basically, Ruger is saying that the shape and appearance of the 10/22 are a 'trademark' and T/C's copy is too much of a copy.

    Yes, there are some Rugers that are copies, the Blackhawk, the SR1911, and Mini 14 come to mind. A few things are different in these cases, 1) the 1911 was produced by many companies in the past, so trademark exclusivity is almost impossible to prove, 2) Colt's never bothered to sue anyone over the issue of copies of the Model 1873 Single Action Army Pistol, because the SAA was not a big part of their revenue, and there are quite a few visual differences between the initial Blackhawks and SAAs, and 3) the Mini 14 is actually not a very accurate copy of an M14, and in any case the design of the M14 is Government property.
     
  5. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    LCP...
    Little Copy Pistol
     
  6. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    T/CR 22 incorporates allot the aftermarket add-ons that folks do to their 10/22's already.
    As for the rest of the package, it’s much the same as lots of 10/22 models…except.
    Except for the standard threaded (1/2×28) barrel. Except for the standard Magpul stock with M-LOK attachment points. Except for the Picatinny rail that’s machined onto the receiver. Except for the excellent adjustable rear peep sight and front green fiber optic sight. Except for the metal grooved bolt charging handle. Except the last shot hold open.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  7. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Should have made it in .22 MAG, Ruger stopped making them a while ago. I would be in for one of those.:D While it is a close design there are some differences. How many ways can you make a semiautomatic/bolt .22 rifle that are NOT similar to all the rest out there. Ruger copied the rotary mag that savage used years previous. Suppose that is what their problem is?
     
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  8. hq

    hq Member

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    Ah. This utter bovine excrement of an excuse again. Some fifteen years ago I founded a company for manufacturing vintage design furniture to original hand-made specifications, as the designer intended, because all copies touted as "original" by license holders have cut so many corners in manufacturing processes that even the nicest, most expensive ones were far from Original.

    Lo and behold, the big names in the industry lobbied legislators to re-instate IPR to appearance, even when designs are several decades old and the designer has passed away long time ago. This enabled them to start legal action against manufacturers of products that were far closer to original design, hand made, of extremely high quality and even cheaper than their "original" ones, that only had an artificial license going for them.

    For instance, there's no such thing as Ludvig Mies van Der Rohe "Barcelona" chair, built to original specifications, on the market anymore. In 1930's there was, and again between 2004 and 2007 when I single-handedly brought it back.

    Now Ruger seems to be willing to exploit the same corporate-tailored draconian laws to eliminate competition.

    Sorry about off-topic, I've been a bit too involved in arbitrary "appearance" "trademark" controversy to not to dwell into principles why all this lunacy is possible nowadays.

    The pride of owning a Ruger is bound to be on decline. How about just building quality guns and selling them on their own merits instead of suing others who do?
     
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  9. fireside44

    fireside44 member

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    You mean to eliminate knock offs? That's how I see it. The amount of intellectual theft happening in so many industries is so great now it's a wonder American manufacturers survive at all. If we allowed chinese imports of firearms it'd be over tomorrow.

    Prime example, a few years ago I produced a demo product, a demo. I had moved maybe 300 units before I stopped pushing the product. Lo and behold some guy from Shanghai now sells my product on ebay complete down to the graphics for 1/2 to 1/3 of what I charge. And there is hardly a profit to be made! This is called "getting Shanghaied". People who steal intellectual property are right there among the guys who burglarize homes for a living. You shouldn't defend them.

    What drives the whole thing is cheap people wanting cheap goods regardless of the morality of buying stolen designs and stolen I.P. They don't want to pay for the real deal and so will patronize a criminal, because that's what it is. Might as well buy a stolen weapon, same thing because it doesn't belong to you!
     
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  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    This is nonsense! The Thompson is completely different!

    It has a TC on it...………..

    Personally, I prefer the easy and simplistic take down of my Nylon 66.

    Seriously though, this seems a little silly. Is Colt going to sue every 1911 maker out there because their guns look too much like the original Colt?
     
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  11. hq

    hq Member

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    You've completely misunderstood the point. It's not IPR, it's extending it to more or less arbitrary design features like appearance and shape, decades after all originality of the design has has expired and in many cases become mainstream.

    We hold a number of patents, as results of genuinely groundbreaking R&D in technology, and I can't imagine being able to sue companies that don't even copy them rather than use the compulsorily published details as an inspiration or even basis on their own tech. It would be utterly ridiculous and protectionist corporatism in the worst sense of the word.

    This is what it's all about. Inspired, heck yeah, go for it, and being compatible with proven although ancient proprietary design, even better! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    "Knock-off"? Well, if IPR is genuinely infringed, action is appropriate, but in far too many cases it isn't that, just a case of condescending corporate paranoia and a desperate attempt to eliminate competition instead of improving their own processes or - God forbid - coming up with something new and better.
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    How has volquartsen gotten away with it for so many years? Or Pac-lite? Why this now? Ruger borrowed stole or imitated someone for pretty much every design they’ve ever come up with.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  13. Wisco

    Wisco member

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    is it being Shanghied if they charge more and make it better? It’s not like TC made a junk copy and charged $99. Its $399.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t buy a 10/22 for $99. So there’s my obvious bias.

    Everyone makes a better version of the 10/22 than Ruger does, maybe that’s the real problem.
     
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  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    So it looks like a 10-22 that had been modded for better usability.
    Suing for building a better copy...
     
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  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    NOT LEGAL ADVICE:

    This seems like a real stretch to me. The core of trademark/tradedress law is the likelihood of confusion by the consumer as to the source of the product. The gun-buying public is very, very, very familiar with guns that looks quite similar, or even have identical external dimensions, but come from different sources. Think old-tooling Taurus revolvers v. S&W's, or any of the various Turkish guns versus their German/Swiss/Czech patterns, or any of the millions of different makers of Mausers, or any 1911, etc., etc. The relevant customer base is not going to be confused. They're going to know perfectly well that a T/C made and T/C marked gun is not a gun made by Ruger, and vice versa.
     
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  16. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Exactly. Ruger's lawyers talked them into spending money on lawyers... this is baseless. Too bad we don't have "loser pays legal costs" rule in the US.
     
  17. hq

    hq Member

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    Not that letting buyers decide whether cheap junk is really an alternative to higher quality products would be a novel idea, in the true spirit of free market capitalism? Especially when we're not talking about some iPhone 11 look-a-like rather than 55-year old (SIC!), simple rimfire rifle that wasn't *that* unique or special even when it was first introduced.

    Food for thought.
     
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  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Not that any of my clients have ever done this, but there have been times when lawyers have been directed to pursue long-shot legal theories by business people for various reasons. That does sometimes happen. Is what I heard.
     
  19. hq

    hq Member

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    We do in Finland. That's why all our international licensing agreements have a clause that all disputes are to be resolved in finnish courts of law. :evil:
     
  20. fireside44

    fireside44 member

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    I guess this is one of those moments you regret saying anything. People mostly only care about cheap prices when it comes to ethics and knock offs and stolen aka "borrowed" designs. If it's borrowed, when are they giving it back?

    It's all good and well until you produce something yourself, and stake your own money, only to have someone produce a knock off and undercut you. Brazen that it happens even with products with minimal profit margins to begin with, which shows you the scope of the Shanghai mob never mind American producers of knock offs who can actually be held accountable once in a while.

    If Ruger started producing a big bore single shot pistol ala contender or encore I'm betting the T/C law team would get active. There are a couple other industries that have lawsuits akin to this going and I understand them because even though it could be construed as corporate protectionism, it is the life of the company and they are designs sprung from their factories and minds in modern times. I didn't care either, until I got ripped off personally. It's kind of nice though, knowing the courts will probably make good rulings in these cases if they make good rulings in any cases at all! I could get carried away with it because I have an actual ball in the game here but it's not necessary. It's a beautiful morning and I actually have the weekend off coming up!
     
  21. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Ruger nailed AMT over their frank copies of 10/22 and Mk I.
    Colt made U.S. Pt. F.A. Co. change their name on the "trade dress" argument.
    Haven't seen them to attack Turnbull or Cimarron because a bull in a circle or a Pony Express rider in a circle look too much like a Colt in a circle, though.
     
  22. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Actually, the public policy of this country is that you do not own your designs or inventions forever. There is a reason that patents have expiration dates - so that other manufacturers can come in and produce the same thing more efficiently and/or incorporate the invention into further developments. We WANT other manufacturers to do this. We grant inventors a limited-time monopoly... they have 17 years (or the other relevant time) to make their "first to market" money.
     
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  23. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    EDIT: That's what happens when I don't read the article. Ruger's going after trademark infringement. Ruger will probably win the case if the T/C 22 didn't change enough of the styling from the Ruger. If they've maintained their trademark registration and defense of it over the years they probably have a case, but I'm no lawyer.



    Ruger has had plenty of time to recoup their investment in R&D in the 10/22. I deal with protected intellectual property all the time, and know that competition within the laws that competes with my companies products is a good thing in the end and is a founding principle in free market capitalism. It causes companies not to rest on our laurels and innovate. When a competitor company does infringe in a way that is a violation that is one thing.

    But the 10/22 was developed in 1964, that's 55 years ago, copyrights protect a company in the beginnings of recouping a R&D investment, if Ruger hasn't done that in the 20 year patent life, then it they are suing over a venture that isn't successful anyways.

    This is going no where in the courts, waste of time and efforts on Ruger's part.

    Why are all these companies producing AR's, 1911's, BHP clones, Rem700 action clones, Keltec P3-AT clones (Ruger LCP), Glock P80's/clones, etc., etc.

    Just think of the pharmaceutical companies and cost of medicines if we expect them to be able to have no competition for 55 years. Think about your insurance/prescription premiums then.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    AMT made copies of them the year the patent ran out, 1984, countless others have since then.

    Not like they don’t copy others once the patent runs out...

    A221EE48-EEC1-48A9-8311-5BDB4F811E5F.jpeg
     
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  25. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Ruger has done this before, to AMT in the 1980s over trademark rights, not patents. AMT stopped making their 10/22 copy (the 25/22) as a result. So it makes perfect sense that they would continue that tradition today. It would be a surprise only to those ignorant of the history.



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