View Full Version : ASM vs Colt Lawsuit Info Wanted

September 1, 2010, 01:44 PM
I have one of these "lawsuit" guns and would like any info on the subject anyone might have. This is an old suit (not AWA), about ASM using authentic type markings on their cap and ball reproductions.

September 1, 2010, 02:17 PM
I think that what you're looking for is American Western Arms or AWA International. Colt sued AWA in 2002, claiming that the single action revolver made for AWA by Armi San Marcos was too close a copy of Colt's Model P revolver.

Colt made some rather broad claims, particularly that only Colt could make a single action revolver and that Colt, as a company, had no knowledge of any other company making single action revolvers at that time. Seriously. They claimed that.

The gist of the lawsuit was that the public could not tell the difference between a Colt 1873 SAA and the AWA Peacemaker, even though the AWA model was marked "Made in Italy" and with AWA's name. I believe that Colt contended that neither marking was present on the AWA revolvers in rather blatant difference with reality.

AWA won the lawsuit, eventually, but the effort and expense pretty much ruined the company, which may have been Colt's aim in the first place.

Colt did the same thing to Bushmaster over the M4 a few years back. I believe that they lost that one, too.

Maybe I shouldn't be taking Colt to task too badly - I suppose the case can be made that they're defending their copyright, perceived or real, which, from my understanding, is necessary under US law.

EDIT: Awww, no fair editing your post! :D I'm really not a dummy!

September 1, 2010, 02:36 PM
Sam Colt had a unique way of competition,,,
He filed a lawsuit against any maker who looked like they could compete.

Sam Colt tied Remington Arms up for years in a lawsuit,,,
The book I read said that Colt never had a chance of winning the suit,,,
It was simply a matter of delaying the release of the Remington as long as possible.


Jim Watson
September 1, 2010, 03:05 PM
As I recall, Colt was suing on the basis of "trade dress." That the AWA looked so much like a Colt that even without faking markings, it would be taken to be a Colt.

Maybe so, but if so, what about Uberti, Pietta, and USFA?

September 1, 2010, 03:19 PM
I beilieve what the OP is refering to had to do with ASM, who had been making some parts for the second generation Colt percussion revolvers, tried to jump on the bandwagon with authentically marked Colt reporductions and Colt sued them. I don't recall all of the details. Madcratebuilder or Mykeal may have more info.

September 1, 2010, 03:43 PM
I believe denster is correct about the OP's request - he did say that the AWA suit was not of interest.

Regarding the Colt/ASM 'negotiations': they were in fact about ASM making Colt replicas using parts made for Colt's 2nd Generation production run in the 70's. The guns made by ASM had 2nd Generation Colt markings. As I understand it, ASM had applies to Colt for a license to manufacture the guns, and proceeded to make some assuming Colt would agree. When Colt found out about the guns they rejected the license application and sued ASM to stop production.

The above information is my recollection of things I read in one of Dennis Adler's books or articles; I don't recall the specific article or book. If I can track it down I'll publish it in this thread.

September 1, 2010, 03:57 PM
mykeal, your description of events seems to make more sense. Logically, wouldn't anyone be able to make an exact clone of the original Colt Peacemaker (with the exception of marking it "Colt, et al"? I would have thought the patent would have expired long ago including any protection for "resembence".

September 1, 2010, 08:28 PM
Thanks guy's, that's about all I've found also. Sorry to those of you who posted about "AWA", I should have mentioned it originally (I edited after your post's).

September 2, 2010, 06:45 AM
I have heard a few different stories about the Colt/ASM law suit.

This is from my post at THR.

One rumor I heard was that the Colt marked ASM revolvers were built from left over 2nd gen parts sold to ASM by Lou Imperato when he closed down production of the 2nd gens in his NJ plant.

I have heard from two people that were involved with the 2nd and 3rd gen guns. They joked about how as many left the back door as the front door. Purely a rumor.