XTech Tactical Responds to Century Arms’ Lawsuit

xtech mag47

Outside of a ridiculously gigantic binary target explosion earlier this summer and the fact that they make AK-47 magazines, I admittedly don’t know much about XTech Tactical. Looks like that may change, though, as they’re now playing with the big boys. Namely, Century Arms. But they aren’t playing nice. Or voluntarily.

XTech’s press release follows . . .

XTech Tactical® Responds to Frivolous Lawsuit brought by Century Arms®

September 27th, 2018

Mesa, AZ – In response to the frivolous lawsuit, Civil Action No. 9:18cv-81295 (S.D. FL), brought by Century International Arms, Inc.

XTech Tactical® will not relent its inherent and obvious rights to sell what is known to the market as the MAG47™. The complaint filed against XTech Tactical® contains a baseless claim of trade dress which is clearly an attempt to intimidate a much smaller and younger business.

XTech Tactical® was founded on and operates with the highest level of integrity and is extremely confident in its position. Furthermore, it is important to the company to set the precedent that it will not lay down to baseless threats, regardless of another entity’s size. XTech Tactical® has been preparing for the likelihood of a lawsuit since January of 2018 when Century Arms first sent a demand letter to Molded Devices, Inc., the manufacturer of the MAG47™.

Before XTech Tactical® begins the development or redevelopment of any product, it exhaustively studies the existence of preexisting intellectual property. During the research related to the MAG47™ project, it was discovered that no one controlling the US Palm brand owned any patents, proprietary designs, or other valid intellectual property related to US Palm’s AK47 rifle magazines.

The XTech Tactical® MAG47™ currently available in two configurations on www.xtechtactical.com is quickly being established as the single greatest US Made AK47 magazine in history. MSRP on the magazines range from $26.95-29.95. The company obsessively studied consumer feedback and requests related to the ideal AK47 magazine. From that study and substantial engineering effort came what is now, the MAG47™. XTech Tactical® strives and will always strive to be the leading company in the industry when it comes to hearing its customers’ and potential customers’ voices.

XTech Tactical® is co-title sponsoring Red Oktober in Utah October 6-7th and will also be exhibiting for the first time at SHOT Show booth 4164.

About XTech Tactical, LLC:

In 2013, XTech Tactical was formed by firearms enthusiasts to develop revolutionary firearms accessories for modern rifles and other small arms.

The founding members bring over 50 years of combined product development, design-for-manufacturing, and quality control experience. Collectively they are listed on over 35 US and International Patents, and have been part of taking hundreds of products from concept through production.

We believe in making the best products possible for our customers whether civilian, agency or military. The company strives to lead the industry in innovation, customer service, and hearing our customers’ voices.

Giving Back

We offer a 10% discount for all active duty US soldiers, veterans, and law enforcement that register on our website. We also have corporately partnered with Trident True (tridenttrue.org) to give back to some of our country’s heroes, our combat veterans. We will be offering special edition products to benefit the cause, while also assisting Trident True through financial support, exposure, and offering individual veterans unique experiences. Please take a moment and check out their website for more information. Trident True will also be at the XTech Tactical® booth at Red Oktober along with some great American heroes!

comments

  1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Still, what standing does Century have regarding what 2 unaffiliated companies (one being dissolved) have created or currently create? And if there is a connection, that should have been included in the above article.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      It’s in the press release. Century Arms is claiming a trade dress infringement against XTech’s AK47 magazines. Basically, that means Century is claiming to have a design patent on the aesthetic appearance of their magazines and that the XTech ones are infringing upon it by making a magazine that looks so similar it’s protected by Century’s design (trade dress) patent.

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Thx for that. Did Century pursue the same claims against US Palm while they were operational?

        1. avatar Tim U says:

          Century bought US Palm, so no they didn’t sue them.

      2. avatar WootThereItIs says:

        Trade dress has nothing to do with design patents. The concept is much less tangible.

        Do you immediately think “Century Arms” when you look at that magazine? If not, it’s not a trade dress violation.

        For a good example of a solid firearm-related trade dress suit, see HK’s action involving the original GSG-5 .22 clones.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Thanks for beating me to the punch.

          Trade dress is a completely separate (though joinable) issue than design patent.

          If only the writers knew how to use that fancy Google thing.

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Ehh, I thought I had it correct in my head that they were more or less the same thing. Thanks for the clarification! I’m a blogger, not a lawyer, and I haven’t even stayed in a Holiday Inn Express for quite some time.

        3. avatar arc says:

          First thing that comes to mind is “oh, A polymer AK mag..” >.>

    2. avatar J.T. says:

      Century bought US Palm after they shut down.

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        And….that’s the type of info I was after. Thanks for solving that puzzle. I wonder if TTAG has to payby the word when they post articles. Seems like that simple sentence would’ve added the necessary context for it to make sense. Again, thx for taking the time to respond.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Sorry, I wasn’t aware of that (as mentioned in the first sentence in my little intro, I’m not familiar with the company). I thought Century made their own mags. Please note this isn’t an investigative piece or an editorial or anything similar. It’s a press release written by XTech. Just passing it along unedited since it seemed noteworthy. Like we do with new product press releases, etc.

        2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          Well, if you see my initial comment above, you’ll see why context matters. Folks like me are scratching our heads wondering what standing (in other words, what business is it of Century’s), to be filing such a lawsuit. As the original article stands, it appears that Century is just mad about competition. But, the revelation that Century is just trying to protect what they believe is their patented design, adds some sense of reasonableness to their civil litigation. That fact should have been included in your original article. It is undoubtedly incomplete without it. I do appreciate that you’ve acknowledged that you didn’t know that at the time you published. That admission actually boosts your credibility. Perhaps you should add an update.

  2. avatar Bearpaw says:

    Nothing like internal fighting to divide and conquer.

    Funny thing…the left can stand patiently by the sideline and wait for the right to fight over the details. Too bad we are so lost trying to follow the trump agenda that we cannot stay on the same page simply because there is no page to say on.

    At least the New York Times reporter had a clear vision when he started the NRA.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      Interesting how you can manage to turn a civil suit between two magazine makers into a Trump thing. TDS appears to be strong in this one.
      Has bear paw tried: “It’s all Trump’s fault… Vietnam, Korea, Obomba, all because Trump”???

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Except Trump has had resounding success fighting the left. He has also had resounding success on the economy, taxes, trade, foriegn policy, foreign spending, foreign aid, NATO, and the Supreme Court. This, despite an all out total war being waged against him by the entire media, the entire left, and the many other entities around the globe. Trump is still winning and so are we.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        Well, a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote FOR evil. I still think that the only reason the corrupted voting system allowed him to win was so that they could crash the whole system, take over everything, and then just blame it all on the cook… ahh, I mean on Trump.
        If anybody manages to pick up on that little inside joke I’ll be surprised. Like most of mine, it requires some knowledge and memory, and not just google.

        1. avatar Joe says:

          Whats the frequency, Kenneth?

          CHANGE YOUR MEDS.

  3. avatar el Possum Guapo Herr Standartenfuher "they think we're making pizza's" Oberst von Burn says:

    At first I thought,” wow what a bad deal for xtech” then reading on I thought ” hey the dudes plugging his product” and its plastic. To much plastic.

  4. avatar Rob says:

    Just checked out their website…was thinking maybe I should pick up a couple of the “palm” mags…that I never could get behind 100%.

    Decide to check their Leo/Military page, to see if a regular guy who did a regular stint in the Corps would get any discount (No it seems, got to be active or retired) Understood, its fine…but you know who does get a discount? TSA…Fucking TSA? I get the cops and first responders…but TSA?

    I’m thinking XTech is never getting my business while they give discounts to TSA.

    Please drop the TSA support XTech.

    1. avatar The Dude Abides says:

      +1. Neither deserved or earned.

  5. avatar AngryWhiteGuy says:

    Century Arms owns the US Palm trademark.
    Thirty seconds on freaking Google would tell you that.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    The XTech Tactical® MAG47™ currently available in two configurations on http://www.xtechtactical.com is quickly being established as the single greatest US Made AK47 magazine in history.

    LOL.

    Polymer AK mags suck. Be it Tapco, Magpul, or XTech. I can get a steel magazine that fits great, functions great, and wears great – for $9.00.

    All of these people are insane (and hilarious).

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Where? Cheapest I’m finding them around here is $19.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        at centerfiresystems for example

    2. avatar TrueRedhat says:

      My Magpul AK mags are great, and I think I did pay 9 bucks each for them. My PSA AK loves them. It also loves wolf ammo 😀

    3. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      Yeah those Croatian mags are of questionable quality. Not a solid mag to trust. Don’t get me started on the crappy South Korean mags.

      If you want domestic mags Magpul, Tapco, and the new XTech mags seem to be the only decent options.

      1. avatar anonymous says:

        LOL

        I have 10 of the Korean ones. They fit perfectly in mine. Maybe your rifle is questionable, instead of your mags.

        On the other hand, I once bought some tapco mags and I had to use a file and sandpaper to get them where they needed to be, so they would fit in the mag well and latch correctly.

        I would take a steel mag over a polymer mag any day. Even Croatian ones. In fact, I would pay $19 for a steel Croatian mag before I paid $4.95 for a US plastic mag, much less the reverse ($19 for a plastic US mag, and a cheap price for a foreign steel one). If you need a US mag (for 922R as an example), then cheap Chinese style plastic is your only option, unfortunately.

        1. avatar mike hill says:

          “…I had to use a file and sandpaper to get them where they needed to be….”

          Sounds to me like you’re the one with the questionable rifle.

  7. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    This uncritical regurgitation of a press release implicitly endorses XTech’s position without providing any investigation into Century Arms’ claims or attempting to get their side of the story in any way. Shoddy excuse for journalism.

    1. avatar TomC says:

      TTAG isn’t the worst about “uncritical regurgitation of a press release” (that would be either TFB or On Target Magazine). At least TTAG openly identified the material as a press release. Still it would have been better if they had at least offered Century the opportunity to provide a statement.

      Basically at this point the facts would appear to be that:

      – the XTech MAG47 is a blatant copy of the Palm product.

      – XTech says they checked for trademarks and patents when Palm went out of business and found none, so they assumed it was OK to copy the product

      – Century Arms bought out Palm, including all intellectual property rights. As such, Century has standing to bring any legal claim that Palm would have been able to bring.

      Trade dress infringement occurs when one company uses trade dress similar enough to another’s to cause a “likelihood of confusion” in an ordinary buyer’s mind. The legal term “trade dress” refers to the general appearance of a product or its packaging that reveals its source to customers.

      Trade Dress includes any and all unique aspects of a product’s appearance, packaging, and marketing that would lead a reasonable consumer to recognize a product as belonging to a particular brand. This extends far beyond patents and trademarks.

      This frequently becomes an issue with ‘generic’ or other “just like the name brand” products. The seller of the lower priced copy wants to make their packaging similar enough for customers to associate it with the name brand, but they have to be sufficiently different to claim that no one would reasonably mistake their product for the original. Meanwhile the company producing the original brand name product wants to defend their place in the market — they certainly don’t want “their customers” to accidentally buy the copy by mistake — but in reality they don’t want “their customers” to buy the copy at all so they would rather that the copy didn’t look even close enough for people to recognize what it is a copy of. Large companies very aggressively defend their Trade Dress even in instances where the consumer would have to be an idiot to mistake one product for another. Besides the advantage that the big company gets from their product being instantly recognized, there is a legal issue. If a company fails to defend their trade dress and copies start appearing without being challenged, the company can actually lose its legal right to defend the trade dress because it is no longer unique.

      Neither the Coca-Cola Company nor the Pepsi-Cola Company care if you want to manufacture a cola product that tastes just like their product. But if you put it in a red can with a white ribbon design on the can you will certainly be hearing from Coke’s lawyers — likewise if you put it in a blue can with a round emblem you will be hearing from the Pepsi legal team.

      In the rifle magazine industry, can you imagine some new startup company making plastic AR magazines with hexagons embossed all over the lower half of the magazine??

      XTech’s claim that their copy is ok because Palm didn’t file a patent or trademark for the cosmetic design of their magazine would generally be laughed out of court, but they MIGHT be able to make a case that there is no “likelihood of confusion” because there isn’t a product to be confused with. OR they MIGHT be able to make a case that there are so many slightly different plastic AK magazines that the cosmetic variations aren’t how customers recognize the products.

  8. avatar Slow Joe Crow says:

    Just saw this and as I understand it the sequence of events was US Palm went bust, X Tech made deal with the OEM to remake the US Palm AK magazine with their logo, and the Century bought the US Palm name and trademarks and went after X Tech for selling something that looked like a US Palm magazine.
    Since this is about trade dress, I’ll cite a concrete example. Park Tool has a registered trade mark for a specific shade of blue on their bicycle tools. When Unior wanted to start selling bicycle tools in the US they could not use blue handles or paint because it infringed Park’s trade dress so Unior tools sold in the US are red. In this case it looks like Century is claiming that the “waffle” pattern on polymer AK magazines is distinctive and thus trademarked.

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