Tis the season for resurrecting the much-loved Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol. Springfield Armory teased its new product — Springfield’s new Hi-Power reincarnation, the SA-35 pistol — in a series of advertisements and on its SpringfieldPremiere website.
European American Armory took Springfield’s image, did a little photoshopping and then published it to promote their own Girsan MC P-35 Hi-Power clone that’s been available for a while.
We’re bringing it back. pic.twitter.com/5ZCZgw2Je7
— Springfield Armory® (@Springfield_Inc) October 20, 2021
Here’s EAA’s reboot using the Springfield Armory ad image . . .
Springfield wasn’t amused. They took enough umbrage that they’ve filed suit against EAA in US District Court seeking to enjoin the competitor from using the artwork from the Springfield ad in any way and seeking an order to have them destroy any promotional materials EAA has created. Springfield is also seeking damages and attorneys’ fees.
From the opening page of the filing from US District Court in Rock Island, Illinois (download here):
Springfield Armory makes and sells firearms. Springfield Armory is one of the most successful and famous companies in the firearms industry. In September 2021, Springfield began advertising for a soon-to-be-introduced gun using an original photo of a gunsmith at a workbench with the teaser caption “we’re bringing it back …” The staged photo features a gunsmith employed by Springfield at a workbench in Springfield’s gun shop. EAA competes with Springfield Armory in selling firearms. EAA copied Springfield’s advertising and photo and made minor edits to the photo and advertisement in order to portray it as originating from EAA. EAA published the altered photo to promote EAA’s products and to divert customers from purchasing Springfield Armory’s products. This infringes Springfield’s copyright rights and constitutes unfair competition, among other violations, under the Lanham act.
It doesn’t take a legal rocket surgeon to figure out this effort by EAA to poke a little fun at Springfield will probably not end well for them.