$2M In Counterfeit GLOCK Magazines Seized By CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is charged with protecting the United States from threats crossing international borders. Besides physical threats from terrorism, drug trafficking and weapons of mass destruction, the men and women in blue protect American consumers and industry from intellectual property violations and counterfeit goods.

In this case, an estimated 70,000 fake GLOCK ammunition magazines were seized upon inspection at the Savannah Port of Entry. With a value of around $2M USD, this was no small haul. Both shooters/consumers and GLOCK were protected from fictitious product entering the market.

Not only could the magazines pose a safety hazard to GLOCK customers, but the GLOCK brand itself could suffer if shooters buy what they think are substandard original magazines.

I scoured the internet looking for previous examples of counterfeit GLOCK gear. Most of what I found were previous generations of factory made magazines or legitimate KCI made magazines.

If any of you are dreaming of grabbing some cheap counterfeit magazines, it’s not worth it. Spend the extra five or ten dollars and save yourself the headache.

Counterfeit Glock Magazines

Counterfeit Glock magazines

U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Savannah Port of Entry inspected a container of manifested firearm magazines and discovered 591 cartons of pistol magazines bearing the Glock trademark.

The importation of the magazines with the Glock trademark on the packaging was found to be unauthorized and in violation of the registered trademark, said Mark Varga, CBP spokesman.

The company was given the opportunity to make alterations. However, alterations were not completed and the shipment was seized for violation of the Glock trademark.

The pistol magazines have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $ 2.1 million.

“Counterfeiting is often viewed as a victimless crime. The theft of intellectual property and the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens America’s innovation based economy, the competitiveness of the nation’s businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and, in some cases, national security and the health and safety of American consumers.” said Lisa Beth Brown, Area Port Director, Savannah. “Seizures like this keep those goods out of the American supply chain—protecting our economy and consumers from potentially harmful products.”



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com
Twitter: @gunboxready
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  • codfilet

    What was the Country of Origin?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Somebody knows their customs and import laws… But I couldn’t find that info either.

    • Toxoplasma

      It’s gotta be China.

      • No one

        Last I checked China isn’t in Southeast Asia.

        • Toxoplasma

          I guess you need to check again then.

          • Alex Yamach

            Actually, Tox, he’s correct:

            “China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia”. (Wiki)

            Southeast Asia:

            “Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia.[1]” (Wiki)

            Don’t feel bad – while I tend to think of all of these countries as Asia/Pacific Rim, I got this wrong, too.

          • Toxoplasma

            That’s true, you are correct. I was wrong. China is in East Asia only, not part of Southeast Asia.

    • Caffeinated

      Probably Korea. I believe they were in SGM packaging.

      • Matt from marxachusetts

        yes sir, SGM mags, I read this story last saturday on another website and looked into what mags these might be and they seem to be made by SGM. Now I was not familiar with SGM but they were used in and promoted in a certain glock meltdown video by a certain Iraqi veteran…….

  • lostintranslation

    CBP, on the ball, ‘clocked’ the counterfeit GLOCK.

  • Ken

    Of more interest to me, where were they going? Who was going to palm these off as OEM? And, how many have made it in? Any comparison shots of OEM/Fake?

    • Clearly no one was palming them off as OEM. It’s a sematic thing. I strongly doubt the importer has abandoned them for real. More likely they didn’t timely respond to the notice because they overlooked it so a default occured or something like that. The customs agency is not a court, so their determinations can always be challenged. It would be interesting if these were knockoffs of SGM mags, being palmed off as SGM though.

  • Ambassador Vader

    Whens the auction?

    • ironked

      They will just destroy them.

  • Glenn Bellamy

    So were these really “counterfeit” (i.e., being passed off as Glock OEM), or did they simply make the mistake of saying “Glock mag” instead of “mag for Glock”? I’m all for enforcing trademark rights–that’s what I do for a living. I’ve also worked with CBP to seize counterfeit and infringing goods. Bit they are not above sensationalizing that they kept “dangerous counterfeits” off the streets when the importer was not careful enough in its use of “Glock” descriptively.

    • mrpotatocat

      Your job sounds interesting.

      • Glenn Bellamy

        Often (not always), it is.

    • J.T.

      “or did they simply make the mistake of saying “Glock mag” instead of “mag for Glock”?”

      That one.

  • Johnsmyname

    Looks like you guys are right about them being SGM mags. If this is true, I’m surprised they either haven’t been caught before or if they changed the wording on he packaging, they were that careless?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7243768edaafc2f65ed3a5591f87dcde95321bc909f2d0d5e6766f156f6d87f8.png

    • J.T.

      How the hell is that a trademark violation? Just because it says “GLOCK magazine”? That is stupid as hell.

      • Johnsmyname

        Agreed, I have no idea.

      • Mystick

        Agreed. They can’t say “That so-called ‘plastic’ numerically-designated pistol from Austria, 9mm Magazine”

        • int19h

          They can use the word “Glock”, they just need to do so in a different way. E.g. “Magazine for Glock(tm)” should be fine.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        I can see how a not-so-savvy consumer could be fooled. It says “GLOCK Magazine” not “GLOCK Compatible magazine” or “SGM Tactical magazine for Glock pistols”.

        Words and phrasing does matter. It’s kinda stupid, but I can see their point.

        What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just replace the bags? Sounds like CBP gave them ample chance to fix the issue and something like that would have been fine.

      • int19h

        “GLOCK magazine” can be reasonably interpreted as “magazine made by GLOCK”.

      • L Cavendish

        perhaps the mags have the Glock logo on them

    • I believe sgm mags v are made in the USA, so customs would not be involved.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Do they work?

  • Mystick

    National security my ass. Keep slapping that label on mundane things and it will cease to have meaning.

    • iksnilol

      Cease to have meaning? It kinda lost its meaning after the PATRIOT act and 9/11.

      Why should the CBP worry about the drugs? Those aren’t counterfeit.

      • Mystick

        I concur with your initial statement.

        To the second(forgive me if it was meant to be sarcastic)… aftermarket magazines are not a grand problem around here. The tons of illicit drugs coming into the country and being fed to our youth is. Priorities, you know?

        • Suppressed

          You’d prefer our youth source their drugs domestically?

          • Sledgecrowbar

            Since you asked, if you can’t stop them… you may as well make sure they’re getting decent product.

            /eehhhh

          • Michel_T

            Sorry, but the so-call “war on drugs” will not be going away any time soon… There’s just too much $$ involved.

            The police will not give up their budget
            The criminal orgs will not give up their market share

        • Core

          Good point mo matter what goober piles says..

    • L Cavendish

      but they may have the Glock markings/logo on the actual magazines…which would be a violation if they are not licensed for it

    • Dirk Dasterdly

      you’re right, but since they said “counterfeit” I’m guessing the mags have a glock logo. they’re not just “fits glock 19” on the label. Makes me wonder when some online retailers are selling supposedly OEM glock mags for $19.99 if they aren’t these fake ones. There are some distributors (I won’t name) who charge more than $19.99 wholesale! So where are these online retailers buying them so cheap that they can afford to sell for $19.99 and make money…if they’re not fakes?

      Also, as I read regarding an unrelated topic, protection of intellectual property is important. Sometimes that’s hard to understand for someone who hasn’t ever made anything, invented anything, or spent money and time developing something wonderful and tried to make money on it. If I let Glock spend years developing a gun just to then, once it’s accepted, reverse engineer it and copy it exactly…just without the circle G on it, and sell it for less because the heavy lifting was done for me, well, nothing would get invented then. There’s no incentive. You get paid for your work, right? They want to get paid for theirs.

      • Mystick

        …but that is not a “national security” matter, that is a “commercial law” matter.

  • Charlie Taylor

    Not many people understand this but it doesn’t have to have Glock on the packaging and product to run afoul of trademark laws. There’s this thing called “trade dress” infringement which means that if a product copies another’s visual appearance then it is considered counterfeit. If these mags are a 1 to 1 copy of Glock OEM mags then they would definitely fall under trade dress infringement. The inclusion of the glock name on the packaging just made it super easy for CBP to make their case and go ahead and seize the products.

    I used to work for a very large airsoft retailer when H&K threw down the hammer on H&K airsoft guns. Since they couldn’t get the manufacturers in China/Japan they threatened to sue the retailers. It didn’t matter that there weren’t any H&K logos on the products since all their products have a visually distinctive design. Fortunately they didn’t want any damages, just the removal of products from sale.

    Funny thing was they didn’t care about it until UMAREX had acquired the licensing rights for H&K airsoft products, and guess who came knocking a few months later with new products to sell?

    • Glenn Bellamy

      No. Trade dress cannot protect the look or designs that are functional. The shape and size to fit a Glock brand pistol is functional and not protectable as trade dress. Only nonfunctional product configuration that consumers recognize as an indicator of source (not an indicator of functional compatibility) are protectable as trade dress.

      HK was able to bully some small companies. But when challenged, their claims failed legally.

      • Charlie Taylor

        Do the size, placement and font of the witness holes fall under functionality? What about the design of the floor plate? I don’t think so. Numerous manufacturers are able to produce Glock compatible magazines with substantially different visual appearance. These do not have a visual appearance different than OEM, including visual features that are not of a functional necessity.

        Glock has actually done this before. Back in the day KWA produced a glock copy airsoft pistol that was VERY popular, especially for force on force training in police departments with a lower budget. They were always imported sans logos but Glock threatened to sue under trade dress and KWA had to stop making them, later coming out with an airsoft pistol using nearly the same internals but a visually distinctive design.

        • MattCFII

          Also why Glock sued ISSC to change the look of their .22 pistol. Ironically since Glock won’t license an airsoft in the US, ISSC did one now with We-Tech which is their Glock 19 in other countries changed domestically to closely resemble the ISSC.

        • Alex Yamach

          KWA makes some very nice GBB airsoft pistols, including the Glock-like ATP and their 1911 series.

          Definitely a cost savings for police/military training to improve and maintain muscle memory, function and accuracy.

    • Alex Yamach

      Excellent points, but….

      Even Glock Legal in Georgia can be very inconsistent in enforcement of trademark violations.

      Per Glock:

      “GLOCK, Inc. does not license the use of its trademarks for any domestic or foreign company to make airsoft replicas or airsoft replica parts and zealously protects ALL registered trademarks”

      But, depending upon the motivation of the GlockLegalDrone examining potential trademark violations, they may nail one seller, and then completely ignore the next seller selling the same exact item.

      Case in point:

      Glock monitors the sale of unlicensed airsoft Glock pistol and magazine replicas on eBay, and has a supposed “eBay/Glock VeRO Agreement” as a basis for enforcement. Now, eBay doesn’t give a crap about this agreement (they are FAR MORE fearful of Microsoft software infringements), so, it’s up to Glock to monitor and enforce the agreement on eBay.

      Most of the sales of illegal Glock copies are from the Pacific Rim countries, but several are from U.S. sellers who amusingly try to conceal the Glock trademarks, take horrible pictures in low light, not use the name ‘Glock’ in their auctions, or don’t even supply a picture of what they’re selling, stating instead to prospective buyers “contact me for pictures”.

      As a rule, eBay sure doesn’t care, Glock may or may not care, and as far as Glock’s commitment to ” zealously protects ALL registered trademarks”…. yawn. As a result, a decent airsoft replica of a Glock 17, 18, etc. has risen so much in value on eBay that you can buy a nice real steel Glock for just a couple of hundred more!

      It all sounds like much ado over nothing, but there is an increasing amount of cities and municipalities that have passed laws restricting the sales and possession of realistic airsoft pistols (Baltimore has recently done this).

      Frankly, if I were a cop and some kid pointed one of these guns at me (and people do this every day!), someone may get shot. EVERYONE takes off the Federally mandated bright orange barrel tip, so that will be of no help.

      Sooner or later, the gun hater lobby will pick the right case of a cop shooting a kid waving an airsoft pistol to make a landmark case to sue a gun manufacturer. Since they tend to sue the manufacturer with the deepest pockets, and a Glock airsoft replica is highest in demand…. Glock would be a prime target, though other manufactuers are vulnerable, too. The slimebag lawyer will surely attempt to nail Glock on ‘allowing’ airsoft replicas of it’s guns to be sold on the market to kids.
      Bottom line: Glock better step up it’s game in actually protecting it’s trademark in spirit instead of just going through the motions…

  • tony

    the moment you say the word Glock into a mirror, their lawyers will appear

  • Leigh Rich

    What country the come in from?

  • John

    So this is what a gun company does when they lose a contract bid. Interesting.

  • Keith Melton

    Wonder how much Glock paid the CBP to stop a competitor?

    • L Cavendish

      zero…

  • Jones2112

    If they had the Glock trademark on them without Glock’s blessing or if they are marketed to appear as genuine Glock mags then they are counterfeit products…tricking people into thinking they are buying a genuine product is illegal…take a gander on amazon and eBay, people find after buying a product that was marketed as OEM was not what they received but instead got a product that was counterfeited and was substandard when it failed they tried to have it replaced but were told nope that is not our product, its a counterfeit…counterfeit products coming from overseas is a big problem not just for consumers but also the companies that are having their products counterfeited because when it fails to perform to standards the consumer blames the manufacturer…

    • Alex Yamach

      You’re right.

      There was a fairly recent ‘audit’ of Apple iPhone equipment being sold on Amazon, including “genuine” Apple accessories.

      I can’t remember the exact percentage of accessories that were found to be counterfeit, but I believe it was at least 60+%. Overwhelmingly of Chinese origin, of course.

      So, why not anything else?

      • Jones2112

        You really have to careful when buying components these days, especially SD cards, drives, HTPC’s etc. There are a slew of counterfeit products being sold on places such as amazon and eBay…

        The thing about these mags is the company was given a chance to correct the packaging but chose not to respond so now they’ll likely be sent to the crusher…

        My guess is they are so inexpensive they’ll just import new ones with different packaging…

  • Steven Kaspar

    The drug problem is caused by the government that lets the drugs come into the country in the first place to feed the system of arrest,confiscation of money,cars,houses,airplanes ect. and we already have to many god dammed police organizations running around this country already they keep telling you their our friends but i would be willing to bet if the order ever came down to confiscate our weapons most would follow the order because like every body else they want to keep their jobs and refusing would bring charges and termination.

    • dlh0

      What?! Your foil hat is showing.

  • uisconfruzed

    What?!? “The company was given the opportunity to make alterations.”

    I’d like to know which vendor they destined for.

  • Walter Williams

    Oh the humanity!!!!!!

  • OldGringo

    Trademarks are important. How would you like to buy a Weatherby Mark V, for say $2,000 only to find out later it was a fake? …and it was really only worth about $400? And who wants fake Michelin tires when driving the kids across the summer desert in California and then learn after the blow-out they are fake…just saying.. PS, I have been boycotting California for over a decade, lots of better places to vacation….

  • Frank Hunter

    what if they were fake SGM mags?? that is what it sounds like as SGM knows how to make and package cloned glock mags

    • That’s my question. I would expect them to do a press release to resolve this. Right now they are being made to look like bad guys, and in my opinion rather unfairly. No one could look at that packaging and think that SGM is trying to scam people.

  • Alex Yamach

    Apparently….

    It appears that MSNBC may have taken over as moderator in this forum.

    We’ll see….

  • L Cavendish

    so…a picture of the actual magazine would be nice…maybe it has the Glock logo on it…which would be the violating portion of the law maybe

  • Markbo

    One very big question not addressed is where dd they come from? What was the origin?