Originally Posted by ViR
I love the excellent Apple vs IBM comparison.
Licensing designs and suing companies for copyrights kills progress..
Cybergun should only be able to license trademark names. So if they buy license to call their guns "H&K", sure that name shouldn't be used.. but "shape"? Really?
Sure. The characteristic shape of a Coke bottle is covered by trade dress. The shape of a Glock is too. I think the intent of trade dress law (or design patent for that matter) is to make it possible for a party to own rights to a sizable investment in the design of a shape and furthermore invest in marketing said shape. An applicant must describe to the trademark office how their shapes are unique.
It's frustrating to us that these rules are being applied to our toys, made to replicate the look of a particular firearm. Our airsoft guns don't really compete with real steel, but we find ourselves right in the middle of the headlights of trademark law that very clearly covers our aims to have an airsoft gun that replicates a firearm. We are in essence copying the refined and marketed appearance of products produced by multi billion dollar juggernauts like HK, FN, and Glock. We specifically want to infringe upon the IP of something that someone else has made extremely cool in our eyes. It is naive to think that we can get away with it without handing over a fee.
Hate Cybergun or Umarex as much as you like. They're just playing chess with some pieces that the manufacturers we love never grew up with. It's not like they're getting anything for free though. Word on the street is that Umarex dropped $3mil to acquire the HK license.