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Daniel Defense Sues Remington/DPMS For Trademark Infringement

Georgia-based Daniel Defense has filed suit in US District Court against Remington Outdoor Company and DPMS for alleged trademark infringement and deceptive trade practices. DD seeks unspecified damages and recovery of legal costs as well as an injunction preventing Remington or DPMS from using the marks in the future and to destroy all materials bearing them.

Daniel Defense claims trademark of the term “Lighter. Stronger. Better.” which it has used since 1996. It has also trademarked the “>>” chevron, a V-shaped pattern in use since 2012.

DD Xray

Remington’s subsidiary DPMS has been using the term “Lighter, Stronger and even more badass” and “Lighter, Stronger and every bit as accurate as the original” which DD alleges confuses consumers due to the similarity of products.

DPMS GII AP4

(DPMS Advertising Brochure)

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33 Responses to “Daniel Defense Sues Remington/DPMS For Trademark Infringement”

  1. Terry B says:

    I support individuals and businesses protecting their intellectual property from infringement by others for profit…but trademarking common descriptive words? Seriously?

    • SSD says:

      I understand DD’s concern. It’s not like the words are scattered throughout copy. Instead , and in both cases, they are presented as a slogan.

      • Terry B says:

        SSD,

        I understand your point as well as the element of “context” you mention below. But it still seems a stretch.

        There are a lot of reasons someone might choose to buy an AR from one company instead of another.

        All I know is that I’ve never considered a company’s slogan or logo one way or another in making a weapons purchase.

        But that’s just me.

        • Haji says:

          I totally understand where you’re coming from, but the market as a whole doesn’t know the differences between brands. Their statement that it’s confusing, when viewed through that lens, is valid….and I wouldn’t wish a DPMS product on my worst enemy. Well…yeah, I would, but certainly nobody I cared about.

        • Ben says:

          You might not consider the slogan when buying a gun, because if you got the point of looking at that gun in particular, the slogan probably did it’s job anyway.

          Advertisement is simply to raise awareness of the product. Promotion will get you to buy it.

          Daniel Defense seem to simply be ensuring that whenever a viewer casually passes over an advert or something, the words “DANIEL DEFENSE” are subconsciously considered. With too close a branding, the chances that the two will be subliminally linked are lessened, which undermines DD’s efforts. Of course, probably known to Remington and their subsidiaries… Cheap shot but it’s probably just as valuable to them as the money they might pay in compensation would be on advertising.

    • Samson says:

      Descriptive terms can eventually be registered – if they have secondary meaning. After more than 5 years of use on the market with the term “Lighter, Stronger, Better” they most certainly do. Because they’ve used it so extensively in their promotional materials, whenever I see (or hear) it, I immediately think of Daniel Defense.

  2. Mono says:

    Well, in that case they could sue Daft Punk for “Harder Better Faster”. It sounds similar, just sayin’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAjR4_CbPpQ

  3. Will says:

    Unless DPMS has started selling their rifles for two arms and a leg I doubt anyone will be in danger of mistaking the two.

  4. Joe says:

    It’s not just descriptive words, it’s the phrase. The order of words, how they are used.
    Do you think Nike would let Reebok market some new shoes with the phrase “Just do it better” or ” Just did it”??
    Not likely.
    And the amount of people that don’t know ANYTHING about the AR world could easily be confused by the marketing use by DPMS.

  5. Jesse says:

    I didn’t think much of it at first, but the Chevron aspect may give this real legs. Sure they are oriented differently, but dual Chevrons may show there is a bit more at play than just throwing together some common phraseology.

  6. Mike Nomad says:

    DD should win pretty easy on the issue of the chevrons (Rem/DPMS did not significantly alter their original use).

    DD will have a bit more of a fight on the slogan. I put their chances of winning at 50%.

  7. bulldog76 says:

    well im gonna trademark ^ that way if anyone use it ill sue someone
    ^

  8. Joe says:

    It may seems stupid that Daniel Defense are suing, but If you understand trade marks and the laws surrounding them it makes a ton of sense. Simply put if you have a trade mark you have a duty to protect it from even the smallest infringement or you risk loosing it, because other people and companies will start to infringe on the trade mark and it creates a bit of a snowball effect. I got all of this from talking to a friend who owns his own company and has several trademarks.

    • Bill says:

      This is the crux of the issue. A poor analogy might be fencing or signing a property line.

  9. DiverD says:

    But in the same aspect, could Colt go after DD for the use of M4?

    I think that if your advertising a Gen2 of your product and it is indeed lighter, and stronger than your Gen1 product you should be able to say so. But maybe they should have said “Lighter in design, stronger in engineering”. But now they can’t because I now own this slogan ;-)

    As for the chevrons, in DD add it as shown as charterers of the keyboard >> whereas DPMS is using downward facing ones to highlight their slogan. They are being used in two completely different applications. If we can trademark charterers of the keyboard I claim a-z and 1-9 anyone who uses them in an add in any way owes me royalties. but i’m pretty sure that’s not how it works

    • Bill says:

      I thought “M4″ was a government designation. There is also precedent for when a brand name essentially goes into the public domain like “jeep” and “kleenex.”

    • Lance R. Peak says:

      Colt did sue for the use of the M4 term.

      “Colt Challenges Rivals’ Illegal Marketing Practices

      Connecticut-based Colt Strikes Back Against Copycat Manufacturers Bushmaster Firearms and Heckler & Koch

      April 21, 2004, Hartford, Connecticut – Colt Defense LLC today filed suit against Bushmaster Firearms, Inc. and Heckler & Koch and demanded that the two companies end their illegal marketing campaigns with respect to the Colt® M4® carbine.

      In its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Colt cited acts of trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, false advertising, patent infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. Colt is seeking injunctive relief and damages against the two companies.”

  10. MatKep says:

    Hard to believe anyone could confuse DPMS with DD; but like Joe states above: protect it or lose it, piece by piece, slowly but surely. Sound familiar?

  11. Jack says:

    Funny how DPMS is advertising a .308 gun with their slogan. And a 2nd gen one at that.

    DD- where is your .308 that this slogan is ripping off?

    • Micah says:

      Jack appears to be the only one to have stated that they noticed the rifles being advertised are even the same caliber. Glad someone else noticed it.

      • Horror says:

        Regardless, to the uninformed consumer those are identical weapons. Someone is going to have to change their advertising slogan here

  12. The Stig says:

    I see Remington prevailing. Lighter, stronger, better is far too descriptive and you can’t trademark descriptive words, even if you separate a bunch of them with commas. The statement lighter, stronger, better is something consumers see all the time with regards to rifles. What manufacturer doesn’t advertise their firearms as lighter, stronger, better?

  13. LC says:

    DPMS AR10s.

    Some of the worst AR10s i have ever seen on the market. A good DPMS AR10 is about as difficult to find as a albino in a snowstorm.

  14. Doug says:

    Good God, I have just read some of the most ignorant, uninformed comments. People, please educate yourselves before making stupid statements. The US Patent and Trademark Office registers trademarks for a reason, it gives the owner rights, AKA intellectual property rights. The primary purpose for this is to avoid possible confusion in the market among consumers who may be none the wiser. What other gun manufacturer doesn’t advertise “lighter stronger better” asks Stig?….None. Zero. Zip. And taking symbols like a double chevron and orienting them in a different direction doesn’t necessarily mean that’s OK. Just to give you a little more background, trademarks are registered under different industry categories (Classification) and the owner pays for and must use the marks in the specific categories to have valid protection. So it is possible to use the term lighter stronger better in two different classes. For example a bicycle company would probably be able to have the same term registered as DD. The reason for this is that the average consumer is not going to confuse a firearm and a bicycle. Jack’s “brilliant” observation about the caliber doesn’t mean Jack S#!$. It’s still a firearm and still in Industry Class 13 (firearms and accessories).

    • Samson says:

      Finally, an (educated) voice of reason.

      On its face, it looks like a rather clear case of trademark infringement by Remington. They didn’t suddenly come up “lighter, stronger, more badass.” Why can’t the marketing department at Remington come up with something equally catchy but different? It’s almost pathetic how close these marks are. Unless they were trying to undercut Daniel Defense, which is just as shameful. Whatever happened to competition on the merits of their respective products?

    • Terry B says:

      Lighten up Doug. Not everyone is as well read in on the legalities of trademarking as you seem to be – myself certainly included. But forums like this is where I go to “get educated”.

      I’m sure there are people here on SSD that know a great deal more about any number of subjects than I do. But that doesn’t mean I’m ever going to be afraid to throw my questions or comments out there.

      At the end of the day the worst think that can happen is I might get a little smarter on the subject at hand.

  15. Mike says:

    Just noticed ALCOA Defense advertises the phrase, “Lighter, Faster, Stronger”, along with chevrons. This also seems pretty close to DD’s, but isn’t ALCOA a much older company?

    • SSD says:

      Go read up on trademarks and come back and give us a report in what you learned regarding their use.

  16. Stephanie says:

    This is obviously a stab at Daniel Defense and a slap in the face. Good for DD for standing up and taking back what is rightfully theirs. “More badass” is directly indicating that DPMS is better than DD which should bring up another law suit for false advertisement!