Kalashnikov Registers Its Trademarks, Plans on Enforcing IP

The AK has been copied and cloned so long that there are clones (Vektor R4) of copies (IWI Galil) of copies (Valmet Rk 62) of the original design. Kalashnikov wants to avoid this going forward and a press release sent out yesterday can be interpreted as a clear warning to would-be trademark infringers …

(Moscow, Russia) September 10, 2015 – OJSC Concern Kalashnikov today announced the successful registration of trademarks Калашников/Kalashnikov in the Russian Federation. These trademarks were issued by Rospatent (the Russian Patent Office) in August 2015 and cover the production of firearms and ammunition.

The registration of these trademarks is the first step in a comprehensive, worldwide strategy to consolidate the global intellectual property rights of Concern Kalashnikov.

“The registration of the trademarks Калашников/Kalashnikov in Russia is an historic event for our company and the start of our efforts to consolidate and protect the legendary weapons brand both in Russia and abroad,” said Concern Kalashnikov CEO Alexey Krivoruchko. – We are in the process of formalizing ownership of trademarks across several key product classes throughout the world and will aggressively prosecute those brand pirates who attempt to illegitimately profit our brand.”

Trademarks are an essential indicator of quality and aid the buyer to find the genuine article. The Kalashnikov name is known throughout the world as a symbol of engineering and design excellence. Its development at IZHMASH (now Concern Kalashnikov) is also well known and its intellectual property rights will now be protected.

“Kalashnikov is a renowned global name and this registration is a great first step in the protection of its brand,” said corporate reputation management expert Patrick Jephson. – Like other global brands such as Cartier or Apple, pirates will attempt to illegitimately profit from such an established reputation and in the process damage and dilute the strength of its brand. Concern Kalashnikov can now take firm actions against pirate production and build the long-term value of its brand.”


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.


  • SerenGetter

    This is literally the worst thing they can do for the AK platform.

    AR15’s didn’t become superhuge until COLT’s copyright ran out, and then every company could make their own AR15.

    AKs are finally being made without the needs for international parts kits, stifling production now will only hold back the platform.

    Which is bad especially when the AK is an easy target for political issues due to its Russian roots.

    • Giolli Joker

      They got the memo from NotoriousIUD and started their path to branding Western style.

      • Abram


    • micmac80

      They registered the brand name not Ak47 design.

      • Chris22lr

        They’ve actually already registered the AK likeliness. In other words: if you’re designing a video game where there are weapons looking like AKs, and this game is sold in Russia, you can expect a lawsuit from Kalashikov Concern.

        Think Glock.

        • tacticaltshirts.com

          Yeah. Glock has been pretty aggressive on their trademarks. Down to the “blocky slide”.

        • Paul Epstein

          That’s going to tempt companies to compare how much they’ll make off of Russian gamers, compared to how much KC is demanding for the usage of their previously free trademark, and I think most of them will simply decide not to serve that market.

          I guess from KC’s perspective, as long as even one company eventually pays up it’s all worth it.

    • Chris22lr

      Note that this patent is issued in Russia, so it’s probable that it will be enforced in Russia only (we all know that enforcing foreign patents is dependant on country politics). From what I reckon Bulgarian Arsenals and Polish Beryls are getting more and more popular among Russian IPSC folks. Izhmash/KC is not happy about that.

      The whole Kalashnikov Concern branding, and all associated activities, is part of Russian govt’s (Putin’s?) internal propaganda promoting products of indigenous ingenuity. Mikhail Timofeyevich, after his passing, was once again elevated to a national hero level, symbol of Russian inventor. The whole fuss is aimed at Russians, and doesn’t actually affect western firearm market.

      • Tritro29

        Arsenal and Beryl? While Arsenal I (might) understand, there’s currently a ban on Beryl Rifles in Russia (Beryls are military Items in Russia, You’re thinking of Radom Sport Rifle). IPSC folks running Three times more expensive polish rifles with proprietary parts, while the Zastavas are there for everyone who doesn’t want to go through the hassle of importing from Poland? I don’t know which Russians you’re talking about, but In my experience, it has been steadily the contrary. With people wanting either AR-15 types or if foreign AK’s, Valmet’s (not cheap) and Zastavas (cheaper). And for the IPSC crowd Izhmash has had better options anyway (including former Saiga-MK and now the 107/AK-15). I understand that people don’t like Russia or its authorities, but please stop the bullshit. There are very sound reasons, why Ck wants this, and I’m not a fan of CK.

        • Chris22lr

          Easy pal!

          That’s the info I’ve got from people who where present at Moscow Arms & Hunting Expo. Clear message was: “counterfeit” AKs (Arsenal and FB being example of such “counterfeit” high quality AKs) are much more popular than the original, “one and only” Kalashnikov Concern rifles (in AK category – we all know that ARs in rifle IPSC is an international standard).

          So, yes – there are sound reasons for KC patenting everything which is AK-related. They’re in financial troubles when their biggest market was closed (the US), and local market is full of cheaper or higher quality products. If you can’t fight them, ban them. This is not about people disliking Russia and it’s authorities. It’s just how business works.

          And I don’t know about any hassle with importing Beryls – there’s an official distributor: OOO Novo-Obninsk. They have ordered quite a number of FB guns, and these are listed on their website.

          (Oh, BTW: “Beryl” is just a general term, since Beryls for Russian civilian market are called… Archer)

  • J.T.

    I doubt they could get anything other than the name trademarked here in the US.

  • Tim U

    This won’t stop people from making AKs, just keep them from using the Kalashnikov name brand. The only one in the U.S. this could ever hurt is that renamed Kalashnikov USA which can’t be connect to KC without running afoul of sanctions.

  • Steve Neisler

    Patent Law is very complex and expensive to enforce. The AK 47 and 74 design has been in the wild way too long to patent in the U.S. You can’t patent something you gave away for free for 50 years.

  • Lance

    Trademark infringements… China laughs at them again!!

  • patrickiv

    Am I understanding it right that this only protects the name, not the design?

  • lurpy

    This isn’t about the design of the weapon. There’d be no way to successfully prosecute a patent at this point–even if they hadn’t been allowing use of the design for the last 70 years, patents are generally only good for 20 years, so it’d be long done. This only deals with Kalashnikov trademarks. So every gun manufacturer can still build AKs, they just can’t call them Kalashnikovs (and may not be able to call them AKs, depending on the language of the trademark; that would also be a question of whether the term is in common use to describe a particular design of firearm).

  • LazyReader

    kalashnikov can no longer afford to give them away for free

  • ghost930

    I’m sure the Eastern European countries that are making AK “clones” are more worried about Russia actually invading them versus their lawyers invading demanding patent payments. Let’s see how they do with their Chinese buddies who have been making the things for years, not to mention Poland, Romania, East Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Pashtun tribesman in caves in the Kush, Finland, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Good try at replacing the embargo money Vladamir, but probably no cookie on this one.