Norinco NR08: Chinese MP5 Clone

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Norinco is now producing clones of the H&K MP5A4 submachine gun. I cannot even recollect reading that China had purchased a license from H&K and I presume these are unlicensed clone. These guns are being exported to the Philippines and being sold for the equivalent of about $2,500.

I am not surprised that China is producing another clone, but I am surprised they chose to clone the MP5. Both POF (Pakistan) and MKE (Turkey) produce MP5s cheaply and legally on licensed machinery. The market for cheap MP5s seems more than a little crowded.

Is H&K going to sue the Chinese Government, who own Norinco, like they recently sued an American importer? Not a chance. China seems to find a new way to breach the WTO regulation each month and this is the least of their offenses. Unless the German government is willing to make this into a major diplomatic incident, Norinco is untouchable.

Firing 3-round burst with the NR08

[ Many thanks to Curtis for the tip. ]


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.


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  • snmp

    for military contract for an resupply MP5 for some country in south america, Asia & affrica.

  • Ermac

    2,500 is a lot for a Chinese gun.

    • http://none Kurtis

      Yea 2,500 that’s a lot specially looking how big it is I would say 900 to 1500 with out shipping I would love to buy one though

  • Roadkill

    damn, the chinese are making it and its STILL overpriced.

  • kidlat

    fyi:

    MKE mp5 in full auto retails for about 5 thousand USD here in Philippines or roughly around two hundred thousand pesos. compared to NR08 which cost more than half the price.
    I wonder how much would a class III SMG cost down your end?

    P.S. i owned the pics which you had posted here

  • Spade

    Something about the receiver in the last pic looks wrong. Not sure what though.

  • sumyunguy

    They need pirated guns to protect all of those bootleg dvd’s and fake vuitton bags.

  • Maxpwr

    What exactly are the laws regarding such things? I assume that every single AR manufacturer in the US doesn’t have a license from Colt or Armalite?

    Don’t international design patents eventually expire? It’s not like the MP5 design is exactly a state secret any more.

    Probably some treaty regarding this, but it seems stupid.

  • Other Steve

    Say what you want about clones, those welds actually look better than s lot of true blue HK mp5s I have seen.

    My guess is this will never be a us import but maybe some parts will find their way over. Reasonable bolts and trigger packs aren’t a bad thing.

    This just further shows how outbid touch HK is with their own market. At least styre figured out the aug had a market and brought it back non-gimped. HK is so damn clueless.

  • Encircled

    stuff likes this makes me angry…those bi***es keep stealing great ideas of western engineers who spent a lot of time and money to develop things like the MP5 and don’t even get the slightest punishment.
    makes me wonder how they imagine the future when the western industry collapsed and our engineers are gone. whose ideas will they be stealing then, mh? stupid ch**ks.

  • Nanban Jim

    Ridiculous. >.<

  • Thousand

    Ok, now we need a semi auto version in here in Canada, pronto. Oh, and unrestricted, too. That would be awesome.

  • Erik

    To be honest, I”m glad that China is sticking it to HK. HK spends all their time figuring out ways to screw civilians and consumers out of as much money as possible for really… not that great stuff. I hope that the Phillippines (Armscor) starts to make HK USPs and Semi-Auto MP5 clones.

  • Chuck

    This is the way the Chicoms do business. Just wait until their passenger aircraft are on the market. I will bet my Shrike that they will have a very similar appearance to the aircraft from Boeing.

  • Eugene

    The original patent of MP5 has expired this year. It’s all about timing.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Its not the MP5 patents, its the trade dress (visual appearance). If these were imported into the US, they company selling them would be sued by H&K.

  • http://www.howtogetagun.ca/ HowToGetAGun

    On what grounds would they sue Norinco? I doubt a design patent(s) (good forever but only on non-functional design elements) on the MP5 would hold water and the regular patents would have expired by now (20 years).

  • jdun1911

    MP5 was first produced in 1966. You would think that the patent would have expired by 2010. I do not see how HK can get away suing companies that produce them. HK themselves discontinued production of the MP5.

    Anyway I think Iran makes MP5 clones as does many other countries around the world IIRC.

  • whodywei

    The patent of 9mm MP5 has expired therefore HK can’t really sue Norinco for anything.

    The market for cheap MP5s will never be crowded because there are countries/people (mainly in south Asia) just don’t want to buy Muslim made arms (Iran, Turkey, Pakistan) and can’t afford HK price.

  • Frank

    Am I the only one who finds it cool that you can own F/A stuff in the phillipines. Didn’t their gun laws only recently liberalize?

  • Lance

    China has cloned about ever major military weapon out there. They cloned the Mauser K-98 and Bolo Mauser, the SiG 226 and 228, Colt 1911A1,, the M-16A1 and M-4 carbine, the M-14, I think they cloned G-3s and possible the G-33. Of course the AK-47 SKS-45, TT-33, and Makarov. I knew they made MP-5 clones for years. Im surprised that they cost so much China was known to make them cheap. I don’t say there bad I got a Chinese M-14 and I think there better than the basic grade Springfield M-1A. I just wish they could sell them here in semi auto. A cheap HK 94 would be awesome.

  • Andy

    What I wanna know is why can’t one of these countries make a P7M8?

  • Slim934

    I’m glad the chinese do not have any patent restrictions (atleast compared to the moronic IP provisions the west has).

    IP rights are nothing but government monopoly privileges. They are an arcane relic of the age of Mercantilism and we would be better off if they did not exist. Despite the conventional wisdom about patents stimulating innovation, there is absolutely no proof to support this notion.

    We should be happy the Chinese are not abiding by these laws. Not doing so will allow them to progress economically much faster which will increase the standard of living of everyone (including our own). I do not see anyone complaining about when WE engaged in the exact same practice in the 18th and 19th centuries in relation to Britain.

  • Jdun1911

    Eugene,

    Ok, I got to know what year did HK applied the MP5 patent in the USA. Patents IIRC last for 17 years in the states.

  • mmathers

    If an MKE (turkish) MP5 would run $5K in the phillipines and the Norinco is about 50% cheaper ($2.5K in original post), I’m guessing a Norinco MP5 (if it was ever made and available in the US) would probably be $750 because the MKEs can be had in the US for ~$1500.

    All the export restrictions (which make this a bunch of pratter) aside, I could almost see buying one of these at that price. After all, why buy a 22LR lookalike for ~$500 when for $250 more you could have a “real” MP5.
    -mm

  • G3Ken

    Nice to know that this stuff can be had in the Philippines. I was stationed there for three years (arrived the DAY the People Power revolution began). My wife an I own a home in Metro Manila, but I haven’t been back in years.

    It’s a country where money talks, and although guns are not easy to come by, if you pay the right person, you can get almost anything you like.

    I hope their MP-5s aren’t like a lot of other Chinese crap. At round P125,000
    they’re far out of reach of the average Filipino.

  • Bandito762

    I wonder what industry Slim934 works in because he certainly isn’t an engineer. It takes years of hard work and investment to produce many of the products on the market today. Who would invest if after all the research is done, some foreign company with essentially the equivalent to slave labor will just steal the design and produce it for half the price.

  • Eugene

    Jdun1911

    I don’t know the detailed information. That was just what they claimed.

    You may find this blog post about NR08 interesting. (Try Google translator. )

    http://blog.163.com/gunworld@126/blog/static/1221442832010914101919128/

  • jdun1911

    Sure HK can sue Norinco for trade dress but I doubt they would win. Norinco have a lot more money than HK and unlike ATI they will fight it in court. IIRC ATI pointed out on Arfcom that it was cheaper to change than win it in court.

  • Kace

    I’d buy one if they sold’em here.

    Why? Well if H&K doesnt like the color of my civilian money, I bet the Chinese might.

  • jamie

    #
    Erikon 30 Oct 2010 at 5:11 am link comment

    To be honest, I”m glad that China is sticking it to HK. HK spends all their time figuring out ways to screw civilians and consumers out of as much money as possible for really… not that great stuff. I hope that the Phillippines (Armscor) starts to make HK USPs and Semi-Auto MP5 clones.

    Erik, sounds like you like the products but dont want to pay, and worse are upset others are paying and showing off their new toys in front of you, and ruining your day.

    They are not cheap, but then if all HKs were priced as cheap as glock, then you would be bitching about someone else.

    You wont be happy till you can have any gun your heart desires for some absurd sum like $200.

    Can i ask what it is you do that is sooooo special. I hope you are not a cubicle jockey.

    HK stuff is pretty damn good. You cant “Screw” people out of money on a product they buy of their own free will.

    By chance do you work for the cheapest price in your industry, and the most hours for the least pay in your office/shop/etc? If not, you are screwing the consumer, and your boss.

    I get real sick of reading this crap.

  • jamie

    #
    Slim934on 30 Oct 2010 at 9:04 am link comment

    “I’m glad the chinese do not have any patent restrictions (atleast compared to the moronic IP provisions the west has).

    IP rights are nothing but government monopoly privileges. They are an arcane relic of the age of Mercantilism and we would be better off if they did not exist. Despite the conventional wisdom about patents stimulating innovation, there is absolutely no proof to support this notion.

    We should be happy the Chinese are not abiding by these laws. Not doing so will allow them to progress economically much faster which will increase the standard of living of everyone (including our own). I do not see anyone complaining about when WE engaged in the exact same practice in the 18th and 19th centuries in relation to Britain.”

    Better off for who? You? So a guy can toil away in his garage or shop for 20 years, spend hundreds of thousands or millions of his own money, have issues with his kids, wife, maybe even his health, and he STILL can not get rich, all so some spoiled turd like you can get a “deal” on the newest gadget?

    Yeah thats pretty funny.

    Patents do not stimulate innovation, death does in communist countries, and thoughts of money and retirement and wealth run through peoples minds in the west. With out a patent you cant make money, surely not in a global market of today. If anything your example is azz backwards. Today more than ever we need patents and trade laws. People like china ripping off things of intricate design, and or just logos and styles of cloths with forgeries. Why would anyone spend hundreds of millions to build brand awareness, to have china screw it up and steal it. You got it all wrong.

    You sound like erik. You want others to work for free, so what? You can impress people with all the junk you buy?

    Do you know how much a license on allot of things costs? Not much, allot of things, the inventor gets $1 per unit. For someone else to make something people want, and they would not be able to make with out the dollar fee, and then they can sell a hunk of plastic, or steel for $50-100-
    $1000 or more. Well that $1 is a good deal.

    You sound like a very simple greedy little man, that is upset there are people out there inventing things and making 10-30-100 million bucks or more after spending 14 hour days on it for 20 years. TONS of people squander their youth on their ideas. They deserve the money.

    You do not deserve nice things slim, frankly you do not even deserve a job. You should have to fashion everything out of the earth, since you think everything is so damn easy. Go make a farm out of the woods or jungle, make your own home, make your own anvil. That alone will take you months to make a simple anvil.

  • kmle

    As I understand it, European and US companies can’t sell arms in the Chinese market. If the the Norinco MP5 get exported their might be challenges but until then meh … HK doesn’t want their name involved with militia and other semi-legitimate groups. Small arms are a mature business.

  • kidlat

    restrictive gun pricing is what keeps guns from falling into wrong hands. if you have the capacity to buy, you can buy all Class III weapons here. moreover, our gun laws here provides for an individual license for each firearms you own and not on the person itself.

    but compared to US gun laws, our Philippine gun ownership is more liberal in terms of full-autos, concealed carry, etc.. aside from the price, i am more happy that I live here.

  • SoulTown

    jamie,

    HKPro is that-away. Seriously, why so angry? So what you like overpriced German bricks–you sure as hell aren’t the only one.

  • Vitor

    Nobody should be that angry at the chinese, afterall they gave us the gun powder. =)

    And it’s always good to have inexpensive competition, forces everybody to low prices.

  • http://www.milgeek.co.uk Milgeek

    This is a turn-around – a subject I have at least some experience and knowledge of!

    You see I am – in part due to our British gun laws – an AIRSOFTER. I guess you real gun owners probably don’t know what that is, but its a hobby/sport that uses replica firearms which fire plastic BBs for use in a game similar to paintball.

    While this hobby originated in Japan (again due in part to their strict gun laws) and still has one of the top manufacturers – Tokyo Marui – the vast majority of the replica firearms (or ‘AEGs’ – Airsoft Electric Guns) available today are manufacturered in CHINA.

    What’s more, the vast majority of them are unlicenced clones of the replicas made by Japanese and Taiwanese and even legitamate Chinese companies.

    These pirate companies exist with little interference from their government despite blatant copyright and trademark infringements and until recently even used materials that would have been banned in the West for health & safety reasons (like toxic metals).

    Their cut-price marketing has been a constant source of controversy inside the hobby – are they a good thing or a bad thing.

    Certainly they have openned up the hobby to a wider public that probably otherwise may not have been able to afford some of the more expensive premier manufactured replicas, but naturally these manufacturers are somewhat agreived at being undercut by what they term as being ‘shoddy rip-offs’.

    I myself own several Chinese manufacturers airsoft guns – mainly replicas of Soviet and Russian military rifles – and while I concure that quality and finish (not to mention the internals) are not of the same standard as those made by the premier companies they are hardy and generally reliable.

    In short – you get what you pay for.

    One of the major problems has been the pirating of trade marks for replica firearm accessories and companies like Magpul, Aimpoint, 5.11 and a whole lot more have had their brand names and products copied illegally by Chinese companies. To my knowledge NOT ONE legal action has ever successfully been persued against these companies.

    H&K, Colt and Sig and many others likewise have had their brand names copied, but again there has never been a successful prosecution of any Chinese pirate manufacturer.

    The airsoft industry has fought back by introducing many officially licenced products – H&K, Colt, DSA and others have legitamately trade marked replicas on the market. Generally speaking these official replicas are greatly prized as there is something of an elitist membership in teh hobby…

    I myself own an officially licenced replica of a DSA Inc. SA58, manufacturered by the premier Hong Kong manufacturer Classic Army.

    So – to conclude – this is a problem that has been in existence for many years and it was only really a matter of time before Chinese pirate companies thought ‘if we can successfully make replica firearms, why can’t we make real ones?’

    The sad fact is that with the knowledge that China is both a huge market for Western high tech products AND a source of many Western companies cheap manufacturing bases who is really going to grasp the nettle and take the Chinese government to task?

    Take a look around your own home – how many products are made in China?

  • Buster Charlie

    Just a thought on IP laws, I heard an interview with the author of this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Most-Powerful-Idea-World-Invention/dp/1400067057

    Before IP laws people pretty much tried to hide new inventions and ideas and kept them for themselves. The Book is really about the idea of owning an idea but he uses the steam engine as an example. You really only had a industrial revolution in the English speaking world BECAUSE of the protection of IP laws. Part of the idea is because steam provides a quantifiable measurement of power, so efficiency can be measured, and fuel has to be bought and burned. Compare this to wind and water wheels of the time which you pretty much got your power for free so there wasn’t as much of a push to make it more efficient.

    For example, what is your motivation to improve a product if you have no IP rights? The Steam engine is not a monolithic invention, the sum of it’s parts come from many different ideas. So Say the current valve on a steam engine is 50% effective, and you have an idea to invent one that is 75% efficient. Now a improvement of 25% means you burn less coal.

    But why would you spend your time and money to invent a 25% more efficient steam engine valve if ANYONE could just copy your design the day you announce it and sell it. What if you invented it in your garage but really can’t mass produce it and now some big company is making a clone, how can you ever sell yours now?

    SO without IP laws, ideas have no real value to the inventor.

    Let’s simplify it for you. Without IP laws, an idea can be copied for free forever. What would happen if the same could be said about money? Paper Fiat Money is really just an idea, so why can’t we all print $100 bills, after all it’s silly that something made with a few cents of cloth and ink should cost $100!

    But if everyone has a printing press making money, then the money has no value, or the value is diluted to the point of nothing.

    ON the subject of the mp5, back on topic, the construction of the mp5 is to be a cheap to produce alternative to the classically machined SMGs. I hardly see why it should cost MORE than a ar-15 or any other weapon which is actually MORE complicated to machine. The fact that it fires full auto is simply a artificial price inflation due to laws, not a consideration of production cost.

  • Slim934

    “I wonder what industry Slim934 works in because he certainly isn’t an engineer. It takes years of hard work and investment to produce many of the products on the market today. Who would invest if after all the research is done, some foreign company with essentially the equivalent to slave labor will just steal the design and produce it for half the price.”

    I actually am an engineer and know precisely how much design work costs and that it can eat into a huge chunk of a company’s budget. The difference between me and most engineers is that I actually also understand good economics as well as property rights theory. This allows me to see in precise terms how IP is a complete load of crap. Having a good history of the various abuses of this system is also extremely helpful.

    I would also add that you still have done squat to actually disprove my argument. Given that clothing designers (who have no IP protection) are constantly innovating all the time (same thing with restaurants who cannot patent their recipes) is a very obvious counter example to your “patents necessary for innovation” canard. THEN of course their is the fact that patents largely did not exist until the 18th century.

    Basic economic analysis shows that the fundamental reason a company would innovate (and actually do more of) is PRECISELY BECAUSE a competitor can copy the design and undercut the original designers profits. The fact that competitors are able to more quickly directly compete against an established designer forces the original designer to innovate MORE if he wants to stay in business.

    Let me pose a hypothetical to show precisely how silly the whole “patent leads to innovation” canard destroys itself. Let us suppose for example that patents lasted for as long as copyrights did, which means that they would last atleast for 100 years. Let’s look at the colt patents for the AR-15, which if this were true would still be in force now. That would mean that everyone who now produces AR-15 clones and hybrids would by law have to pay licensing fees to Colt or be shut down by the Federal government. It seems obvious to me that a patent term this long would inspire colt to be more innovative than they are now (assuming patent innovation story is true). The question is, how much innovation would be LOST by not allowing competitors to copy the design and manufacture them to different specifications and to different market segments? Can anyone really tell me that in this scenario (knowing what you all do know about the various kinds of AR-15s which can be procured) that we would have had MORE innovation from having stronger IP protection?

  • Slim934

    Jamie:

    You’re entire post is nothing but a collection of non-sequiturs and invective. You have done nothing to show that my argument is fundamentally wrong.

    “Better off for who? You? So a guy can toil away in his garage or shop for 20 years, spend hundreds of thousands or millions of his own money, have issues with his kids, wife, maybe even his health, and he STILL can not get rich, all so some spoiled turd like you can get a “deal” on the newest gadget?”

    Non-sequitur combined with whiny invective. You are assuming that by simple virtue of someone working hard that they should automatically get money. This is an absurdly juvenile view of how the world works. If it were true then every business which is ever started up should always succeed and if it does not then the world is a horrible and unfair place. People become rich when they provide other people with things they are willing to pay them for. That is how capitalism works. If the fellow in his garage did no planning for how he would be able to turn his invention into a product which people would pay him for then he should have kept it to himself. I would note that Benjamin Franklin said almost exactly the same thing himself. You also are assuming that the patent laws are actually good for small inventors. This whole scenario is so absurd given the history of patent sniping by large powerful corporations against smaller competitors (or the reverse scenario of submarine patents against large deep pocket firms like the current RIM settlement) that it amazes me that people hold to it with a straight face.

    Yeah thats pretty funny.

    “Patents do not stimulate innovation, death does in communist countries, and thoughts of money and retirement and wealth run through peoples minds in the west. With out a patent you cant make money, surely not in a global market of today. If anything your example is azz backwards. Today more than ever we need patents and trade laws. People like china ripping off things of intricate design, and or just logos and styles of cloths with forgeries. Why would anyone spend hundreds of millions to build brand awareness, to have china screw it up and steal it. You got it all wrong.”

    So let me see if I understand this correctly, you’re telling me that we would actually live in a wealthier world if the chinese all had to pay the absurd licensing fees for the various products they have copied from producers all over the world? I imagine that the only wealthier ones in this scenario are wealthy american producers at the expense of the already destitute chinese (who would be even more so if they actually abided by these laws). As to knockoffs….are you kidding me? Do you really think knock off Rolex’s actually hurt Rolex? The knock offs for those cost 1/100 of the genuine article. They obviously serve a different market segment. As to clothing, as I mentioned in a previous comment they HAVE NO IP PROTECTION. They have trademarks and that is it. If yo intend to speak about IP protection i would suggest you learn something about it.

    Besides ALL THAT, if it were the case that nobody would produce anything without IP then how do you explain the myriad number of variations of various products who’s IP protection no longer exists? Why would anyone make an AR-15 if EVERYONE can make one? Everyone knows the answer to this but then do not follow it to its obvious conclusion.

    “You sound like erik. You want others to work for free, so what? You can impress people with all the junk you buy?

    Do you know how much a license on allot of things costs? Not much, allot of things, the inventor gets $1 per unit. For someone else to make something people want, and they would not be able to make with out the dollar fee, and then they can sell a hunk of plastic, or steel for $50-100-
    $1000 or more. Well that $1 is a good deal.

    You sound like a very simple greedy little man, that is upset there are people out there inventing things and making 10-30-100 million bucks or more after spending 14 hour days on it for 20 years. TONS of people squander their youth on their ideas. They deserve the money.

    You do not deserve nice things slim, frankly you do not even deserve a job. You should have to fashion everything out of the earth, since you think everything is so damn easy. Go make a farm out of the woods or jungle, make your own home, make your own anvil. That alone will take you months to make a simple anvil.”

    *Yawn* non-sequitur, invective, non-sequitur, invective. Yeesh this is becoming a running theme with you jamie.

    And ending with a big non-sequitur. My argument is not that designers do not deserve to make a living. My point is actually that IP is not a legitimate form of property rights, and designers should thus adjust the manner in which they do business to reflect this fact. Indeed, IP is nothing but a limited restriction on everyone’s use of their own legitimate property rights.

    I would like to add that in your last example (building my own house) it is quite possible in an IP world that I would not necessarily be permitted to do so. What if someone else owned a patent for building a house out of the indigenous materials that I was working with? Regardless of whether I knew it or not, the patent owner could come at me legally half-way through construction and force me to stop or be forced to pay a huge fee. RIM recently had to deal with bullshit of exactly this nature with a submarine patent holder.

    Think this is a bs example? Western companies are trying to use IP to essentially create their own monopolies of indigenous medicines in foreign countries which have been used for centuries.

    I would suggest that anyone who has a legitimate interest in this subject spend a little time on the Center for Studies in Innovation Freedom and avail themselves of the various FREE analyses of the entire patent concept. And unlike the various pro-IP detractors, thesfounder and main commentator on the site is a practicing patent attorney who also holds a masters in electrical engineering.

    http://c4sif.org/

    I seriously hope that the readers of this comment broaden their horizons to a contrary point of view (by visiting the link and heading over to their various free materials) instead of angrily throwing invective when they hear things that make them mad. If it makes you mad, learn the argument and then refute it.

  • Vitor

    Slim394,

    I was suspecting you link would lead to something writen by Stephan Kinsella. And I was right! Kinsella is certainly a very thought provoking guy and with very sound arguments. A must read to anyone.

  • the one who knew

    ATI got sued by H&K for Trademark infringement, not patent violations. Once in court, H&K made demands that ATI was forced to agree with in order to settle without drawing the lawsuit out too long which would have severely hurt ATI financially.

  • Slim934

    Buster:

    Ah finally someone who simply questions the argument.

    The basic problem is that the assumptions which undergird IP really do not describe the process of creation in real life.

    Let us take your example of the steam valve. Let me ask you a question: have you ever actually designed a product from paper to actual productive use such as a valve? The process is not instantaneous. Let us assume for a moment that you get my design, the problem is that now you must go through the process of altering your machine tooling to make sure you can actually reproduce it. This is an operation which naturally brings about an opportunity cost, afterall you could have been making your machine tools do something else instead of retooling to make this item. meanwhile the original manufacturer is already selling said item. Furthermore since they actually went through the process of design and creation they are ALSO more knowledgeable of problems and issues which may come about form implementing the design. Afterall they did not simply produce it but they also went through SOME kind of a testing phase which gave them specific indepth knowledge of the valves capabilities.

    As to the garage inventor……so what? This is again a problem of a BUSINESS MODEL. The smart thing would be that the inventor find some means of the large company hiring him on with part of the stipulation being that he make his knowledge of said valve available to them. Or there could be some different method. I have no idea. Part of the market process is that if people demand a product some entrepreneur will think of an arrangement to try and provide it and do so profitably. No entrepreneur ever knows if his business model will succeed, even if he has IP. There is always risk of the unknown.

    My argument is not inherently pro-one group vs. pro-another. My argument is based on a solid understanding of property rights. It is illegitimate to ascribe property rights to ideas for several reasons. 1st) any restriction you place is going to be inherently arbitrary: who is to say that an alteration to something is a legitimate innovation or not? Just look at the patents the PTO allows to be patentable and tell me I am wrong. 2) Ideas are non-scarce and therefore cannot be legitimately owned. If I tell you about a story idea I have, you now have that idea without diminishing my knowledge of it. I still have it.

    3rd) IP must necessarily trample LEGITIMATE property rights (rights to scarce things). We’ll use the valve example. Let’s say you release the valve and start selling it and my firm buys one. We then go through the process of using OUR laser scanning equipment to make an accurate 3D model of it, then we rework OUR machine tools to make our own version of it, and then use OUR distribution channels and packaging to sell it. Obviously if the originator sues on IP grounds he has totally trampled on our legitimate property rights. I bought the valve which now belongs to me, I own the laser scanning equipment, and I own the metals and machine tools to fabricate it. I have taken absolutely nothing that the originator really has; he still has all his stuff and can do whatever he wants with it. Including his idea. How can it possibly be fair for him to claim ownership rights (which he is definitely doing by telling me how I can use my stuff) over stuff which he clearly has no real title to?

    For those interested in the property rights aspect: I would suggest you read “Against Intellectual Property” by Stephan Kinsella (an IP attorney of quite high skill) to get the whole perspective.

    For those interested in a utilitarian take of it: I would suggest you read “Against Intellectual Monopoly”. they actually go through mainstream economic modeling to show that the patent system is not economically productive.

    I would like to add that BOTH books’ authors are very serious in what they believe. So much so that both books can be downloaded totally free. I kid you not. Do a google search for both books and you will find that pdfs of both can be had easily.

    Vitor:

    I am glad that I am not the only voice in the wilderness on this subject here, and that there is atleast one more person here who gets what the heck I’m getting at. I thought it was a load of crap the first time I heard someone say IP does not promote innovation. But I will be goddamned if the man did not make some good arguments. Certainly much better reasoned (and historically accurate) than the various pro-IP proponents. I have nothing against designers. hell they make my fun toys and deserve to be paid. But that does not give carte blanche to trample REAL property rights.

    the one who knew:

    Although I did not get into it here, trademarks are a species of IP along with patents/copyright but with largely different sort of criteria and and underlying premise. The manner in which it is enforced however does render it to more or less the same sort of monopoly privilege sort of deal as patent laws.

  • 4Cammer

    Chinese made guns in my safe? Never.

  • Jerry

    There are more important issues at hand here than IP with this faux MP5 business, especially considering where Norinco’s exporting them to.

    Philippine have long been one of the major source for firearm for criminal elements in Asia (Think Triad, Yakuza, and their smaller counter parts), where these groups often setup buyer shops and utilize [impoverished] locals to get what they need through straw sales.

    Given the price of these $2500 weapons and the average local income in Philippine, there’s only one type of customers that Norinco and their partners in Philippine have in mind, and it sure as hell not your plain old civilians.

    Oh, and chances are the companies in Philippine importing these weapons are also connected to Norinco. Probably someone’s cousin.

  • greentips

    My friend in Canada already has one he got if from lever.

  • Vak

    More importantly, why isn’t there any american mp5/hk33 maker ? A well made mp5 carabine or 5.56 rifle that WOULDN’T be a ar15 (you know, for a change), priced decently (hey, it’s stamped and welded metal, shouldn’t be too expensive like… I dunno $600-700 ?) would surely sell like hot cakes, as mp5s/hk33s aren’t imported anymore. (also get some non surplus furniture, 1/7″ 5.56 barrels with modern flash hiders, m1913 rails and make some new mags)

    Or does the expiration of the patent means that such business will start in the next few months/years ?

  • Stella

    Slim934:

    Thank you for taking the time to offer such enlightening commentary.

    I have dealt with IP issues in another arena that illustrate the absurdity of IP: agriculture. The patenting of genes, particularly those that are reproductively compatible with unmodified plants, is not only morally questionable (someone gets to own “life?”) but can be devastating to farmers around the world. So your crops got cross fertilized by some “round-up ready” franken plant because of wind patterns etc.? Tough cookies you are guilty of theft pay up. Whats worse is that indigenous species are being patented as well, so hard earned seed stock can become some company’s property overnight.

    I actually think this strategy loses money for agricorps as countries ban genetically modified crops out of fear of cross pollination.

    Jerry:

    A quick examination of Norinco’s history shows, if nothing else, that they are without compunction in business dealings and will sell to anyone.

  • G3Ken

    Slim knocks Jamie’s argument by saying that under Jamie’s premise “someone working hard should automatically get money. This is an absurdly juvenile view of how the world works. If it were true then every business which is ever started up should always succeed and if it does not then the world is a horrible and unfair place”.

    That’s NOT the point Jamie was making. In fact, in a way Slim makes Jamie’s point himself. Not every business succeeds just because they’re in business. The ones that succeed are the ones who come up with new and viable ideas.

    There’s nothing wrong with protecting a person or corporation that uses their time, money and intelligence to create something that people want. In fact, millions are alive today because of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, my area of expertise. People love to knock “Big Pharma”, but the amount of money that must be spent on R & D and the hoops that companies have to jump through make their products expensive. The bottom line is that companies are in business to make money. I think we can all agree on that. Why would Pfizer spend tens or hundreds of millions to develop a new drug, only to have some company abroad take their formulation and sell it themselves at a fraction of the cost. Innovation COSTS MONEY. that’s the bottom line. If you take the protection away from the idea, there’s no incentive to create anything new. It’s not to say if one company makes an anti-cholesterol medication like Lipitor, that nobody else can make a drug that treats hyperlipidemia. It means that they have to create their own drug that COMPETES with Lipitor. Hence, you have another company creating Crestor. Hopefully, they create a drug that offers all the benefits of their competitor’s, with perhaps a better safety profile, or one that acts longer or requires less frequent administration. Can you honestly tell us that it is good business to spend huge money on a drug with no guarantee that someone else won’t just make it themselves?

    The clothing argument is silly, too. Clothing companies didn’t invent PANTS. They build brand awareness through clever advertising and getting their product known as “cool”.

    In this example, IP rights aren’t referring to the invention of guns, but rather to one SPECIFIC design that a company (H&K in this case) created. Folks are free to create their own designs to COMPETE with them. That’s why along with G36s, there are M16s, AKs, FAMAS, FNs and on and on.

    One other: Bill Gates is where he is because he KEPT the rights to DOS. That’s what got him going and put huge money in his pocket and allowed him to continue on and make Microsoft what it is today. Had he acquiesced to IBM way back and agreed to let IBM have DOS, he would not be the icon he is today.

  • Michael Roberts

    Any readers here from the Philippines? What are the gun laws like there? I read somewhere that they’re lax or not enforced and allow anyone to own machine guns, is this true?

    • Anthony “stalker6recon”

      I know this is old, but if you still want to know, the laws here in the Philippines suck. Guns are overpriced, ammo is way overpriced, and if you are not a citizen, you can’t buy a firearm, of any kind, legally. There is a huge black market here for firearms, but that is a dangerous road to travel. You can also buy used firearms from, you might be surprised, the police. This is also illegal, but who’s counting right?

      This is a strange, wonderful, yet many times, frustrating place to live. One way of getting around the no ownership laws for expats, is buying a weapon in your spouse or girlfriends name. You are allowed to use it to defend your home, but you can’t carry or transport it. Just going to the range, you have to apply for a transport permit, which is time limited.

      I have been here for 5 years, and still no joy. The prices are ridiculous, and the offers I have received from members of the police/army, I just don’t trust. Once you are in someone’s pocket, you are in grave danger, not a place you want to be.

  • kidlat

    @ michael roberts

    im from philippines. before during marcos regime gun laws are draconian. if you get caught owning one you end up in jail for the rest of your life. long jail term. only law enforcement officers are allowed to own guns. that was pre-1986.

    after the downfall of marcos regime post 1986, gun laws were liberalize specially ownership. if you are caught possessing illegal/ unlicensed guns penalty now is 4 yrs and its easy to circumvent gun laws.

    during 1998 it was further amended that civilians aside from ownership, they can also carried it outside their home by applying for a permit to carry (ptcfor). and you can own high powered assault rifles and SMG in full autos with the only exceptions of crew served weapons (Belt FED Heavy MG, grenade launcher or bazooka) as a limitation.

    the only problem was the monopoly of gun supplier that tend to sell guns at a huge marked up. for example this chinese MP5 clone its worth to almost USD $2.5k when it cost a little USD $400 at its importation price.

    another factor was the need to renew individual license per firearms owned every three years. it cost around USD $80

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      kidlat, thanks for the info.

  • Fuzzy

    We already have a norinco fatory in the us; its called kel-tec cnc ;-)

    • Dr. Daniel Jackson

      Except their products are lower quality and not built to last.

  • chardson67

    There are PROS and CONS on gun ownership in the USA and the Philippines.

    USA PROS: wide availability of spare parts for many different kinds of pistols and rifles,cheaper ammo,cheaper pistols and rifles,bigger back yards.

    USA CONS: Semi-auto only, depends on the license.hmmm what else?

    PHIL PROS: You can practically own any firearm you want except CSW’s,Anti-tank weapons,mortars. The Philippines is a 1911 .45cal country! a lot of folks here love this pistol.

    PHIL CONS: a $400 firearm would usually be jacked up to 150% Mark up!
    Rifle parts are hard to come by and are expensive! licensing renewal of FA’s are a must every 2 years(after the first 4 Years) and PTCFOR’s permit to carry applications yearly is getting harder to apply for,there is a very hard process for getting a PTCFOR,one of the requirements is a “Death Threat Assesment Certificate” now tell me how you plan to get one?if you’re already dead, so most people go with the unwritten rule or simply pay higher charges for a PTCFOR to get released.

    Well most shooters in the Western Countries get to shoot for fun most of the time! for us in the Philippines, we NEED to shoot just to protect ourselves.

    But hey,the situation isn’t that bad,you just need to have very good common sense and live in the country for a while to fully understand it’s do’s and dont’s.

    After the end of the day,where would I want to own a firearm? The USA, because it is in your 2nd Amendment and it’s NOT in our Constituition,it’s only a priviledge and not a RIGHT,I think by 15-20 Years time,the Philippines would be like the UK and Australia.

    • Anthony “stalker6recon”

      I live in the Philippines, and have been searching for a firearm for years. I have not found what I want, at a price that I can justify. You are correct about the huge mark up, which extends to all imported products, especially electronics. LED tvs are two or three times the retail price, than the same model in the US, shipped to your door.

      I have wanted to replace my army issue colt M4 since I moved here. The only one I have seen, that was not older than me, was priced at a ridiculous 170 thousand pesos. That is over 4,000 dollars. No way I am paying that much. I bought a Rock River AR15 when I was got out of the army, and that was less than 1,000 dollars.

      I am looking at this clone, but if the price is more that 70k,which is still way to high, I won’t be even consider it. Also, rounds have doubled in price, for those in the US, enjoy it . One round of ball ammo for plinking, now costs 75 cents US (30) pesos. If you want some jacketed hollow points, they are about 4 dollars per round.

      So much for going to the range, doing a huge amount of dry fire exercises.

  • MwR

    Hate to break it at you China-bashers here but MP-5 patent protection already expired, just like Colt can squeeze nobody about M-16/AR-15 series.

    And chardson67, tell that to those unlucky HK tourists whose 8 of those poor sods got killed at your country’s capital last August.

    • Abraham Ortiz

      They are in the wrong place at the wrong time.It’s destiny .Even if they are Americans or British or Esraelis if it’s their last breath,you can’t reverse the time any more.

  • chris

    good for the Chinese for breaking nonsense regulations. now if only they would loose the authoritarian streak and drop the executions, id have more support for them.

  • joey

    you guys are talking out of thin air patents have limitations 5-10 yrs after that anyone can build it colt 1911 that was colts design ,but smith&wesson made one sig made one armscor made one when the patent ended, if that norinco looks like an h.k mp5 it looks like it.and exact copy are 2 different things and how do you know that h.k didnt sell the rights to norinco colt m16 elisco m16 remember a mp5 is a 30 year old gun h.k dosen’t even sell it anymore ump that new technology

    • smarterthanyou

      yea thats a 30 year old gun, if this was 1996. HK still produces and sells mp5 models to whoever wants to buy them. learn some facts before speaking out.

  • YJ

    “The market for cheap MP5s seems more than a little crowded.” Not a bit. The only way the market is considered crowed is when I can get that MP5 for around $500.

  • Black-Tiger

    Well; considering that Hong Kong was a British colony until 1999 and their police forces were equipped with modern western weapons, including pretty much every MP5 variant out there, from the MP5A4 and A5 to the MP5-PDW and even PSG-1s; it was bound to happen. Maybe one of those Hong Kong SDU-issued MP5A4s ended up on the hands of the PLA and was reverse engineered to manufacture them in bulk. Just my .02 cents.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com ton.thailand

    ข้อมูลเยอะดี่ เจ๋งพอได้ความรู้บ้างตามเข้าใจ

  • chino

    I think copying is totally unacceptable. However, in this case the patents have expired and they are technically not breaking any laws. So they are no different from the hundreds of companies in and outside the US producing AR-style rifles. The only difference is that they are the PRC Chinese and many people don’t like them.