More On Glock's Relentless War On Replicas
26 Apr 2014
Two days ago, the Miami New Times, put up a story written by Trevor Bach. Entitled "Glock Intimidates Toy Makers", the story is about the continuing saga of Glock suing makers and sellers of airsoft and blank firing replicas. It is a story that baffles many in the firearms and replica industries as it seems Glock is adamant on not having its designs licensed which can be another source of revenues and develop goodwill amongst fans who do prefer using the pistols in replica form rather than the real firearm.
I have written about the supposed to be strong reasons why Glock doesn't license its designs as based on the World Property Trademark review. But at the end, Glock is strongly urge to reconsider its position on replica guns for the most obvious reasons: revenues, goodwill, and promotion of the Glock brand and products to those who are just starting to appreciate Glock pistols via replicas and can make a transition to actual Glock guns.
Even airsoft reviewers should be cautious about reviewing Glock-like replicas as the company will attempt to have such stories and videos taken down. According to the Miami New Times story:
In the past 15 years, Glock, Inc., the American arm of the Austrian company, has brought at least 11 trademark infringement suits against 20 companies — and in all but one, the defendants were manufacturing or distributing toy or blank-firing guns. Glock has even censored video reviews of copycat guns.
AirSplat is a favorite of Glock to go after. In a previous lawsuit filed four years ago which went nowhere, now it's being sued again. Ken Wu of AirSplat claims that the company wants everyone making replicas without their approval should get out of the way in order for it to enter into the market on its own and cornering the airsoft Glock replica segment.
Honestly, we doubt that Glock is planning to enter the airsoft market, or else it should have done years ago as the airsoft market was being flooded with Glock airsoft pistols. Right now it's saturated with Glock and Glock-like replicas that taking out manufacturers and sellers would be a game of "Whack A Mole."
The happy ones are the lawyers really and whoever is the legal adviser of Glock is throwing money away rather than recommending that Glock settle and go more proactive. Revenues via licensing will always be revenues and thus can contribute to the company's bottomline. Rather than pay lawyers in suing companies and individuals left and right, it's best to pay them by bringing in new partners who will pay royalties to the table, and everyone's happy.
For now, goodluck with Glock in trying to prevent such replicas reach the market. It may actually block the sales of such in countries recognizing their intellectual property rights, but will not be able to in other countries. With such refusal, money that should come their way will just go the other way, and the market still get their Glock replicas without Glock itself having a hand in it.