The recent burst of Hi-Power related stories just got a little weirder. Springfield Armory, whose new SA-35 has been covered here, filed a lawsuit against European American Armory Corporation, who recently announced they would be importing the Girsan MC P35 Hi-Power.
More Legal News on TFB:
- SIG Files Lawsuit Against Springfield For Patent Infringement
- Springfield Responds to SIG SAUER’s Magazine Patent Lawsuit
- Glock Prevails in Lawsuit After More Than Six Years
- Holosun and Trijicon Announce Lawsuit Settlement
- Franklin Armory Announces Lawsuit Against New Jersey
What’s This All About?
Springfield filed a complaint against EAA in federal court (4:21-cv-04177, C.D. Illinois) alleging copyright infringement and “false and deceptive labeling, false designation of origin, and unfair competition.” Interestingly, these claims are made about certain advertisements and social media posts rather than the guns themselves.
The complaint starts by laying out Springfield’s teaser campaign for the SA-35 release. Springfield posted a teaser image (which we all undoubtedly saw) with a gunsmith working at a bench and several non-subtle hints that a Hi-Power was in the works. That image was captioned “We’re bringing it back.”
Springfield’s complaint alleges that EAA impermissibly used that same image as the basis for their own social media post the next day. EAA’s post was captioned “Already been brought [fire emoji]” which seems like a clear reference to the Springfield post. The EAA post also included the hashtag #springfieldarmory, which certainly seems to point to Springfield’s post as well.
The similarities between Springfield’s post and the image posted by EAA are pretty clear. EAA’s post has some changes, including an Akkar Churchill shotgun in place of the M1A, changing the logo on the gunsmith’s shirt, and text about the Girsan MC P35 in lieu of the date listed in the Springfield picture.
Springfield claims this has caused confusion among consumers. A screenshot of a social media capture is included in the complaint as evidence of this confusion.
This area of law is not my specialty and I do not have any definitive insights about how this case will turn out, or who is likely to prevail. Regardless of what happens in the lawsuit, at least we’ll have more Hi-Powers on the shelf soon. And that is a win for lovers of classic firearms.