H&K suing ATI over their MP5 patterned .22 rifle

SaysUncle reports:

Heckler and Koch is suing German Sports Guns and American Tactical Imports over trade dress infringements. Seems they don’t like GSG making a 22LR version of their MP5.

These cases, like when Colt sued H&K over the 416, are counter productive to the industry in general. It seems bizarre that a firm, which is a subsidiary of a German company, is suing the importers of a German made gun. They must not be able to sue for it in Germany court.

I know nothing about “trade dress infringement”, but I do know that those fanciful concepts of “common sense” and “justice” have long been forgotten in intellectual property court, thanks to the efforts of Disney Corp’s hard working lawyers and lobbyists.

I recently reported that H&K has licensed the production of .22 rifles patterned after the MP5, MP7 and other H&K firearms to Umarex. No doubt this is the reason they have taken legal action against ATI.

UPDATE: H&K and ATI settled. GSG-5 sales will cease.


How long till the Wii MP5 controller gets banned! (Thanks David for the link)

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Phil

    If it wasn’t because of H&K being super extremely picky about their MP5 licenses, I’d have an Iron Ridge Arms MP5 clone right now

  • Pete

    Certainly, H&K is entitled to protect their property. Its their design and they ought to be entitled to make money off of it. That seems like common sense and justice to me. Gosh, there’s a copyright notice at the bottom of this page.

    As Hyman Roth said, “After all, we’re not communists.”

  • Fred

    It isn’t suing, it’s sued. All sales of the GSG-5 must end by January 31st 2010, or until all are sold, and no more can be built.

    (2nd post)

    From what I could make out over the last couple months, it was an intellectual property thing, basically H&K was suing anybody and everybody who made something that looked like an MP5 due to it’s distinctive profile.

    I kind of have to go with the masses, H&K’s just pissed they missed the boat and the GSG-5 sold so well. Now they’ve basically cleared the market for their approved .22lr MP5 clone from Umarex (which if the Colt is any indication is going to suck).

  • SpudGun

    I’m with consensus on this one (for once), the reason people were buying the stupid thing was because it looked exactly like a H&K MP5.

    Why people buy a .22LR rifle because it looks like a 9mm sub gun, is an entirely different argument – but I know what I think of them.

  • Matt Groom

    Uhh, the MP-5 has been around since 1966, so I seriously doubt that any of their design pattens can still be in effect. Haven’t they stopped making the damn things? How can they sue over something as arbitrary as this? God, I HATE H&K!

  • Lance

    This is rediculas, H&K didnt have a pantent on the MP-5 but on the G-3. Many other countries like China, Iran, and Pakistain have many copies of there weapons no lawsuit.

    Im mad because theres finally a cheap MP-5 look alike and H&K with its HK94s well over $1000 are makeing them stop.

  • Komrad

    I think H&K is justified in suing. The only reason people might have to pick this over a Ruger 10/22 or a Mossberg 702 is that it looks like an MP5. The new Ruger 10/22 that looks like an AR is selling pretty well. It might be a nice gun but H&K has the right to sue them. As far as the intellectual property issue, the system may be flawed but not fundamentally. A few laws amending the old ones could fix it. They make sure that not everyone uses your idea. The problem is with patent squatters buying patents just to sue and record companies suing college kids for sharing music, not with the inventors and artists and creators of the things that make our lives easier.

  • Fred

    I still don’t like the timing. Like I said, right after announcing they’ll be coming out with their “own” (built by Umarex) .22lr MP5 clone, they sue the only competitor out of the game. That’s just kinda underhanded business in my mind, and far from the first time H&K has shown their lack of a PR department in regards to lawsuits and the civilian market.
    Just keep an eye out for an overpriced and mediocre quality H&K stamped Umarex disaster to come to a gunshop near you. We’ve all seen the glowing reviews the Colt’s gotten.

  • Doug

    I agree that such law suits are counter productive in the industry as a whole. However, each manufacturer is in business to make money. That is their overall objective. They don’t like to be one-upped and therefore lose money.

    So whether or not they actually have case I don’t know (don’t really care as I don’t subscribe to either of the companies involved). But I can understand why they’re a little miffed.

  • Jeff

    I bought one when they first came out. I ended up selling it and buying a Ruger 10/22. They were just too plasticky for me.

    I wonder about parts availability for the ones who bought or are going to buy one now.

  • alex

    I just bought my GSG-5 and love it! Defiantly the best .22 I’ve ever shot.
    normally I wouldnt spend that much money on a .22, but I think I might be able to sell it at a profit in the future….that is if the price goes up…

  • Joe Gerardi

    Let’s see:

    GSG makes a .22 caliber copy of the HK MP5 which…
    H&K made by altering its own G3…
    which was developed from the CETME, which was a copy of…
    the AK-47, but just a little more bling, and which was…
    copied from the StG45 developed in Nazi Germany.

    and H&K is suing someone over this?



  • Michael Elliott

    Well to all the commentators they only stopped importation of the gsg 5 in this country. As far as I understand they weren’t able to sue German Sports in Germany. Evidently the German courts exhibit a little more common sense than our courts do. I have one and to all you who decry it’s looks , it is a fun gun and I can’t afford the 9mm version let alone the ammo cost.

  • immortallity72

    I think one reason the gsg-5 did so well was that it was a reliable high capacity, accurate rifle that was compact and easy and cheap to accessorize. Had no complaints with the company.

  • xtriggerman

    Just got a Reply from H&K Cus. Service and they said “GSG 5 can sell anything they want” . I guess they are getting alot of heat on whatever transpired. or is it just a ruise to run the GSG up in price?

  • GunnerJ

    I agree, HK has no right to be suing over this. I because interested in the GSG5 when it came out, but after seeing the $500 tag, I didnt want one because I already have a tricked out 10/22. After a few friends of mine boght them and reported their experiences with it I decided that it may be worth the $500.

    I bought one based on its reputation for accuracy and reliability, not on the fact that it looks like the MP-5. Almost 1200 rounds and ony 2 jams, and it is much more accurate than my bull barreled 10/22. This is far superior performance to the 10/22.

    And to think, this is out of an airsoft company that makes childrens toys! Kind of a familiar story here, that famous Austrian guy who made plastic silverware and one day decided to make a pistol that quickly because one of the most famous in history…..

  • Truth

    The truth is Continental Enterprises is helping H&K to screwed with people. Use google and type Continental Enterprises. You will see Tabberone’s Hall of Shame – Cyber Cops Continental Enterprises is list on the top. Read the article about how Continental Enterprises plays the law in ID and use tradedress to sue many companies. In HK case, they sue more than 20 companies, including real gun, toy gun, distributors and more…