According to Russian newspaper “Izvestia“, Kalashnikov Concern has registered the shape of the AK-47 rifle. The company was recently granted exclusive rights for the 3D shape of the iconic AK-47. They’ve registered the rights for 21 product categories out of 45 possible. The mentioned categories include such products as firearms, paintball guns, airsoft guns, knives, perfume, keychains, night lights, toys etc.
In other words, now if anyone wants to make a product shaped or looking like an AK, which falls into those categories, he won’t be able to do that without permission from Kalashnikov. As you can imagine the market is already flooded with tons of such products. So the companies will have to either remove these products from the shelves and cease the production or license them at Kalashnikov Concern. To my understanding, the registration is valid only within the territory of the Russian Federation.
Some paintball and airsoft stores have already received official letters from Kalashnikov stating the company’s ownership of the copyright and prohibiting sales of AK-47 look-alikes. As of now, there is no official explanation from the company. This news also sparked a debate among lawyers. Some of them question the legitimacy of registering the shape. They say what if someone applies to register the shape of the car, will the patent agency approve that, too?
As you can see, this is a pretty controversial matter. So let’s wait and see how this situation develops.