Glock is no stranger to a good lawsuit. For many years now, this titan of the handgun world has made repeated headlines for a smorgasbord of litigation. They’ve filed suit against others, they’ve been sued, and numerous times members (or former members) of the operation have even gone after each other. Thankfully, TFB TV’s own James “Not Disbarred Yet” Reeves has thus far avoided a lawsuit target for leaving his G17 out in the rain earlier this year. All the way back in 2014, the Austrian-based firm sued an airsoft company over unlicensed replicas. Six and a half years later, this lawsuit has finally concluded, as detailed in the following press release.
SMYRNA, Ga. – On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, a Federal Judge for The United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, issued a decision in the case of GLOCK, INC. v. THE WUSTER INC., d/b/a AIRSPLAT.COM, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-00568. The Defendant operated AirSplat retail locations and an Internet retail store at AirSplat.com that sold airsoft guns and related products. The Court’s decision yesterday ended a six and a half year lawsuit between the parties in favor of GLOCK.
In February of 2014, GLOCK filed a multi-count complaint against the Defendant for trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, and related claims under federal and state law.
The Defendant imported Glock Replicas, marketed, advertised for sale, and did sell the Glock Replicas using GLOCK’s trade dress and trademarks. The Court found that the Defendant “intended to, and did, create actual market confusion in the minds of the consumers as to whether they were genuine or licensed GLOCK products, in violation of Glock’s registered trade dress and legally protected rights.”
The Court found the Defendant liable to GLOCK for the following:
• Infringement of GLOCK’s registered trademarks and trade dress in violation of the Federal Lanham Act;
• Unfair competition in violation of Georgia statutory and common law; and
• Unjust enrichment in violation of George common law.
The Court awarded monetary damages to GLOCK totaling $ 2,253,078.28, consisting of:
• Disgorgement of the Defendant’s profits realized from selling infringing Glock Replicas;
• Pre-Judgement interest; and
• Attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses.
The Court also awarded a Permanent Injunction to GLOCK prohibiting Defendant and various other persons from selling GLOCK replica pistols in the future or otherwise infringing GLOCK’s trademarks or trade dress.
“This is a resounding victory for GLOCK against a seller of replica airsoft products,” said Carlos Guevara, Vice President and General Counsel of GLOCK, Inc. “This ruling puts potential infringers like Airsplat on notice that GLOCK will vigorously prosecute its intellectual property rights against those who would infringe.
There do appear to be some approved, licensed airsoft versions out there, from makers like Umarex. If you want to train with an actual in-house product, you’ll have to settle for a non-firing red practice pistol or maybe a restricted-access LEO-only sim gun, if you can get one. And if you’re thinking of getting into the airsoft business (or any other business that might intersect with the G-guns), beware! You could find yourself in the crosshairs of yet another lawsuit involving Glock’s powerhouse attorneys. See you at the range!