View Single Post
Old January 24th, 2012, 20:48   #41
MaciekA's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted by MadMax View Post
FN has trade dress rights to the outline of their more recent releases including the SCAR.
Firearms industry are becoming increasingly aware that their work is attracting interest from airsoft manufacturers as well as real steel copyshops like Norinco. While patents are a useful way to protect the mechanisms inside a firearm, there are quite a lot of accumulated prior art patents which have expired. I think it is becoming increasingly more difficult to protect one's engineering under patent law because of this so I get the feeling that manufacturers are going to find trade dress protection the only remaining way to retain any IP on new gun designs. The weird thing is that trade dress has no expiry date (I think). Also, it is supposed to cover design features which are not practical, but one could argue that the general shape of guns is largely due to ergonomic considerations and therefore should not be covered by trade dress law.
Wow thanks for this post. I looked it up and you appear to be correct -- trade dress does not expire.

Trade dress, like trademarks when you keep the registration active and the fees paid, do not expire but you can lose your rights by allowing the distinctiveness to you to be diluted. It usually does not take a court battle to defend your rights, just a strongly worded letter asserting your rights, evidence of those rights, a legal opinion of violation of those rights, and the credible belief in your opponents mind that the fight would not be worth it.
Given your above post and knowing nothing else, I don't think Echo1 stands a chance importing these things into the USA.
"Mah check"

Now you know

MaciekA is offline   Reply With Quote