For today’s POTD, I came across this photo of a Chinese Swat member using a Norinco NR08 MP5 clone.



Back in 2010 we posted an article about the NR08. Click here to check it out.



  • Devil_Doc

    Do these companies sue Chinese companies that blatantly steal designs?

    • derpmaster

      That’s nearly impossible to successfully do. Not to mention this design is from the 1960s and the patents are all long expired.

      • Devil_Doc

        It’s not just this though. Everything is copied by a Chinese company.

        • Friend of Tibet

          In this particular case, expired patent. China also produce M14(M305) and M4(CQ-A). Super nice price and good quality. I have M305 and CQ-A here in Canada,I also have US made AR DDM4, both works like a charm and CQ-A is only half the price.

      • Young Freud

        Don’t forget that the MP5 has been licensed heavily throughout the world already. If they didn’t get straight from Germany, they would just copy licensed products from Pakistan, Sudan, and Iran.

    • EC

      Oh yes, because all those AR-15 companies blatantly steal Colt designs. 😛

      To be fair, Colt actually did try to sue. And lost horribly, if I remember. I don’t think HK will be so imaginative.

      • EC

        Actually now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure HK muscled GSG into a settlement over their MP5 clone (in .22LR of all things). It could though have been more about the looks of the firearm rather than the design patent.

        And in 2014 GSG countersued, saying that at the time of the original 2009 case HK didn’t actually own the rights. No news since then.

        Regardless, old guns should not be protected. AR-15s, AKs, 1911s are all old enough that most everyone should be given the chance to make their own without fear that some bloated company is going to try to capitalise on research they did half a century ago.

        • Scott Wagner

          IIRC, GSG wasn’t sued because of the design or looks, but because they used the name MP5.

          • EC

            I do believe that it was both, actually. HK’s complaint attacked GSG for both “replicating” its weapon and “using its MP5 mark” on packaging. Neither point has any merit.

            HK can no more control the MP5 look than Colt can control the AR-15 look.

            HK has no more rights to the MP5 name than Colt has a right to M4.

            Sadly at the time GSG settled instead of giving HK a black eye. Seems like though more recently GSG realised how much of a bully HK is and started to fight back.

            It would definitely be amusing to try to see HK take on the Chinese behemoth that is Norinco.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The M16/M4 is an odd case, the names are actually government property, and as the form is dictated by military specs, trade dress also belongs to the government. The name AR-15 is in fact trademarked by Colt, and other manufacturers have to by careful never to formally refer to their rifles as such. Similarly, MP5 is a Bundeswehr designation, so it basically belongs to the German government; variant names, like HK94, SP89, or SP5, are trademarked by HK. Because submachine guns are not standard military issue weapons, I’m not certain that trade dress isn’t owned solely by HK though.

          • EC

            The rights to the name “M4” really have nothing to do with whether that was a government designation or not; it has to do with the term being generic (a legal process called genericide). It’s like Aspirin… it’s so widespread that Bayer can no longer claim exclusive rights.

            The case in question was Colt v. Bushmaster from 2007. In that case it was decided that “M4” was a generic term for a wide class of rifles, and that the term had nothing to do with identifying the manufacturer of the rifle. You could not, for example, guess the manufacturer of my carbine if I just told you that it was an “M4”.

            Likewise it is doubtful that “AR-15” has any protections whatsoever (apart from what Colt doubtlessly insists). If I told you that I had an “AR-15”, most people would not immediately think of Colt as the manufacturer. The average consumer might guess many other brands before they get to Colt; this is because “AR-15” is not a trademark, but a generic term to describe a wide range of rifles built by many different manufacturers.

            In the US, that’s how trademark laws work. A trademark is only useful if it allows consumers to identify a manufacturer. If the term is so broad that it makes no difference to the consumer, then it cannot be a trademark.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      In what court would HK sue the Chinese govmt?

      • Joshua Knott

        technically they cant, it would be a waste of time. China doest have a first to invent right rather they use a “first of file” when it comes to patents. if you want a mind boggling case to look at, see the Segaway case. basically segaway sued the chinese company that was building their products, then such said chinese company just decided to make them on their own, Segaway(the american company) sued the chinese company, since the court was in china, the American company lost so bad that the chinese manufacturer who stole the designs bought segaway itself.
        If&*kinghatechina, they can rotinhell.

        • EC

          You might not know this, but here in the US we also use a “first to file” instead of a “first to invent” patent system.

          It has nothing at all to do with the Chinese, just the way that international patents work. Most of the world, China and the US included, uses a “first to file” system.

          • Joshua Knott

            yeah i get that, then explain to me why 90 percent of the world files their patents in the United States? Methinks it has something to do with the Normalizing of patent laws with a congressional congress in the late 1700’s
            prior even to ww1, look at the Mauser patent, US courts decided that Springfield did in fact infringe upon the patent, had to pay Mauser and then the Germans sank the Lustintania …. we all know where it went from there.

          • EC

            You should pretty much file your patents everywhere, because if you fail to file in one country then someone else can file there before you. “First to file” is a better system because it is clear and straightforward, rather than trying to determine who holds a patent based on napkin drawings.

            People file where they think there will exist a large market. You file in big countries like China and the US because the markets are large and the risk of infringement is high.

            If you look at international patents filed with the WIPO in 2016, the US is #1 @ 24.3% of all patents. But China isn’t that far behind, holding the #3 spot with 18.5%. Chinese innovation is pretty expansive, and is likely to surpass American inventiveness in the coming decades.

          • int19h

            US was first-to-invent until a few years ago. Most everyone else was first-to-file, yes.

          • EC

            Well if you want to get technical about it…

            1790-1870- First to file
            1870-2013- First to invent
            2013-present- First to file

            Historical curiosities aside though, there’s not a whole lot different in terms of patent laws between us and China. If we go back to the American industrial revolution, for example, many of our ideas came from the British (some illegally, “Slater the Traitor” coming to mind).

          • Alpha Roger


      • Devil_Doc

        I thought there was an international patent court.. I just googled it, no such thing. There is a proposal floating around, but nothing yet.

      • Alpha Roger

        None.Did H&K sue Iran and Steyr sue Iran for infringing copyrights?Difficult to get compensation.

    • Timothy G. Yan

      At least Norico doesn’t hate you….

      • Brett

        HAHAHAnow I’m sad…

    • Brick

      Norinco is a state owned company. So, no. In fact, a hard NO.

    • Rnasser Rnasser

      Unless they put the HK logo, it would be difficult to sue them anywhere in the world… the US has 20 years for patent expiration, and the gun dates from the 1960’s. Even those newer models with “modern looking” plastic furniture have been around for more than 20 years.

    • EC

      Technically because the Chinese invented the very concept of firearms, it could be said that HK blatantly stole Chinese technology.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I thought Tom Cruise did?

      • GhostTrain81

        Although China came up with the original concept of harnessing chemical energy to make projectiles fly fast, they never quite “miniaturized” the technology in a way that could be useful for infantry.

        Circa Yuan / Ming dynasty (the former being the conquering Mongolians), there were hand cannons that sort of resembled a miniaturized version of ship based artillery mounted on a stick or spear.

        In the 17th/16th century, the Portuguese introduced the matchlock to East Asia, which were then adopted and in many cases reverse engineered by craftsmen in China and Japan. After 900ish years after its original discovery it made its way around Eurasia and was “re-introduced” to its birthplace :).

        The concept of infantry firearms really clicked more with the feuding Japanese warlords of the warring states period – where at one point nearly a quarter of combatants carried matchlock rifles.

        The acceptance in China was quite mixed. This was only exacerbated with the rise of the Manchurin Qing dynasty which insisted on arming its elite troops with bows and arrows even into the 19th century.

        I guess the point I’m trying to make is that the first to invent is not always the long term winner, and perfecting and refining the technology is just as important… and recognizing the value of what you have of course.

        • EC

          Well sure.

          But why is it okay for Western companies to steal and perfect Chinese research and development but inappropriate for the Chinese to do the same?

          In the end, that’s the crux of the matter, and why such hypocrisy of all those “Chinese copycat” critics are so amusing.

          • Alpha Roger

            Good and great rebuttal!.

      • Alpha Roger


  • Friend of Tibet

    The NR08 has 6 bullet decal at the full auto position. MP5 has 7.
    This picture also shows Chinese Police with MP5 (7 bullets at full auto), wired.

  • mazkact

    If you can build it the Chinese can copy it and usually do a fair job of it. We once cussed Chinese SKS , AK’s and Norinco 1911’ss and M-14 , I hate to admit it but all of these were fine guns. I wish that I had kept some of my Norincos now, my Norinco Tok in 9mm never shot any better than minute of Watermelon but it never failed to feed or fire.

    • Claus Økær Holdt Hansen

      My experience with Norinco, has been great, I have owned a NP27 (double stack 1911 in 9×19), it really ran great but I did swap the barrel out, my .22lr JW25 is always with me on the range or hunting trips, because it just works and is rather accurat .

  • AJ187

    Better than overpriced snobware.

    • Alpha Roger

      You are totally correct.

  • El Duderino

    I wonder if most Chinese engineering degrees have the word “reverse” in them.

    • EC

      Since the Chinese now have the world’s fastest supercomputer and the edge in quantum radars and mechanics, they probably are going to outgrow us pretty soon. Just as how we stopped reverse-engineering British technology around the 19th century.

    • Alpha Roger

      Yes if not many like the any other Asians and Russians.