The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 3, 2009, 02:00 PM   #1
Join Date: June 19, 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 39
Does the manufacturer hold a patent to their rifle's magazines?

Just wanted to ask members here if a gun manufacturer holds a patent to the magazines for their guns? If, let's say, I would want to start manufacturing those rifle magazines, would that be considered patent infringement? Is it legal just to copy their design? I would contact the company with this question but they're overseas and do not have a valid contact info to their corp office. Please shed some light on this for me. Thanks!
Tymah123 is offline  
Old March 3, 2009, 02:02 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,171
The only way to answer that is that you would have to look at each model's magazine separately.

There's no blanket yes/no statement that can be given.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old March 3, 2009, 02:15 PM   #3
Junior member
Join Date: January 23, 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 1,398
Use Patent Storm or Google Patent Search and see if it's a listed patent. Generally if there is no international patent granted, it's fair game for other countries.
freakshow10mm is offline  
Old March 3, 2009, 02:52 PM   #4
Registration in progress
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
I'm not a patent lawyer but it would seem difficult to patent a magazine unless it contained some particular improvement. The whole point of patent law is to protect a new innovation so that inventors have an incentive to make money off their invention. Just because a magazine only fits your gun does not make it innovative. When I think about innovative gun ideas, I think about things like the Beretta Cougar rotating barrel. Assuming that was a new innovation, it could be patented with a utility patent. There are, of course, design patents but those need to be "ornamental" in nature. Would the shape of a magazine fit under the classification of a design patent? Maybe, but why waste your time patenting them? I doubt Beretta made much money selling Cougar magazines (but AR15 magazines- which would be way off patent- might make some money these days).
SwampYankee is offline  
Old March 3, 2009, 04:53 PM   #5
Join Date: June 19, 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 39
Thanks guys for all your help!
Tymah123 is offline  
Old March 4, 2009, 04:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 30, 2007
Location: South CA
Posts: 566
We have dealt with patented products of our own. I find it hard to think of something that fundamentally changes the "art" of a magazine that would be allowed as a patent.

One way to look for such a problem is to examine the magazine. Generally there has to me marking on a patented product indicating it is protected under a patent, and anyone clever enough to patent an idea usually advertises it very clearly.

Trademarks and copyrights are much more common and all you need to do is figure out, for example, an unusual name for something. You can trademark the name so no one else can use it. Presenting yourself in the market as Ruger Arms with their logo would be an infringement. "Henry Ruger Slicker Than Snot Magazine" company would be unlikely to be termed an infringement, if you see where I am going.

Rumor is Ruger copied a Kel-Tec design for their little .380 auto. I dunno either way, but it does happen, and I haven't heard that Kel-Tech went after them.
Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world — and never will.
— Mark Twain
HarrySchell is offline  
Old March 5, 2009, 10:15 PM   #7
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 17,246
Patents, copyrights, trade marks, and intellectual property

And maybe some other terms I'm not familiar with. Bottom line is, if you design something that is different from everthing else, there is a legal way for you to protect your ownership of the design, at least for a certain period of time.

Any manufacturerer should be able to give you the name of the particular legal process used to protect their interests. Then you need to search out the appropriate govt. registries to find if the magazine you are interested in is listed.

If you seriously intend to manufacture and sell someone else's design, I recommend hiring a legal firm experienced with this sort of thing, and following their advice. It will be money well spent in the long run. There are ways these things can be done.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is online now  
Old March 5, 2009, 10:59 PM   #8
Join Date: June 28, 2007
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 62
My $.02

I'm not an attorney, but I do have some experience with patents.

My recommendation would be to do some research on the paticular magazine you want to copy. US patent laws require a manufacturer to mark a product as patented, so I would review the gun and magazine to see if it's marked with a patent number or patent pending. Next, I would do a quick review of their literature (specs sheets, catalog page, etc) for any patent information. If the manufacturer fails to mark thier product, you stand a much better chance of limiting damages if you were to violate a patent. Finally visit the US patent and trademark office and search the patent database to see if the manufacturer has any listed patents. Searching the USPTO website can be tedius.

Swamp Yankee is correct in his descriptions of Utility Patent and Design Patent. Design patents cover the ornamental design, while a utility patent addresses the functionality. Utility patents include a number of claims, which are very specific elements that define the scope or limitations of the patent.

My guess is that since magazines have been around for such a long time, any patents that may exist on a paticular magazine will be very narrow in scope (improved follower, means of attaching the base cap, etc). Typically, the more narrow the scope of the claims, the easier it will be to design around the patent. If you were to find a patent on the paticular magazine you want to produce, a patent attorney would be able to offer guidance on whether your design violates the patent claims.

Good Luck.
mhuegerich is offline  
Old March 6, 2009, 10:16 PM   #9
Junior member
Join Date: December 10, 2006
Location: MANNING SC
Posts: 837

berretta mags fit browning hi power.most mags if you look hard enuf will fit other guns.I have an ortaga and there is a 25 cal mag that fits it.dont know what brand.
TEDDY is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10450 seconds with 9 queries