Blackhawk!

This Pack Found At Walmart Looks Very Familiar

We received a message Friday about a new line of tactical at gear at Walmart. The SOG line appears to be from SOG Specialty Knives & Tools but they aren’t available through their website, only through Walmart. Although there are numerous clones in the line, we decided to concentrate on the SOG Squadron Pack which bears a striking resemblance to the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 backpack.

SOG Squadron Pack

Essentially, both are about the same size and serve the same purpose as backpacks but we don’t believe that the 5.11 Tactical product is patented. Instead, we see something amiss that is going to start showing up a lot; Trade Dress. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a form of intellectual property. Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that signify the source of the product to consumers.

Pack Comparison

As you can see, aside from the overall look of the packs, there are several features in particular that are the same. What remains to be seen is if 5.11 Tactical has noticed (we are pretty sure they will after this story) and what, if anything they might do about it.

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60 Responses to “This Pack Found At Walmart Looks Very Familiar”

  1. Tremis says:

    My son got the same pack from Walmart about 18 months ago but had a different brand name. When I saw the “new” SOG pack, I didn’t even think about them ripping off 5.11, I thought they ripped off walmart’s own cheap brand. So, wally world has been behind this for quite some time, SOG is the new player here to ripping off 5.11, makes me wonder who approached who with this new line.

    • Gizmo says:

      Those were the Fieldline Tactical bags. I had a hard time finding them locally for whatever reason, had to goto an entirely different state to see them in store.

  2. Chris says:

    It’s not like 5.11 isn’t guilty of blatantly ripping people off in the past *cough*sneakybags*cough*…

  3. Tom says:

    “There are only so many ways to sew a nylon bag…”

    :/

  4. Matt says:

    Really? So now you cannot make a bag that looks similar to another bag? So pathetic.

    • SSD says:

      The issue here isn’t that it’s “similar”. It’s that there are aesthetic features that could confuse the consumer.

      • My Lying Eyes says:

        Reading about trade dress on the internet and being an ip lawyer are two different things. Who wants to bet walmart knows more about ip than you? Think the Burberry plaid, not whatever it about this bag that looks like the other one. Are they both tan, with Molle straps and two straps? Hopefully 5.11 is less inclined to the vapors than this post is. I do not like to see money wasted on attorneys.

        • SSD says:

          I watch companies that know more than me about IP law aggregately spend millions of dollars suing one another one another regularly.

      • Riceball says:

        I have to agree with SSD here, these bags aren’t just similar they’re practically identical down the arrangements of the pads in the back. Having said that, if 5.11 is going to go after SOG then they’re going to have their hands full because I’ve seen this style of bag all over the web and I suspect that most of them weren’t 5.11 or even SOG but some generic Chinese knockoff company,

        • My Lying Eyes says:

          They will also have their hands full because the law does not say what you think it says. A ford truck and gmc truck look very similar, down to the four tires in identical places and bed in the back. That does not mean that gmc has a trade dress claim. The way everyone here talks about trade dress, you would be granting a lot of monopolies. An android phone looks a lot like an iPhone. Apparently one of those two has to go. The reason that 5.11 did not patent that bag is because they knew it was not unique and the design could not be protected.

          • SSD says:

            We’re not talking about two pickup trucks or even two backpacks. Instead, we are interested in aesthetic features.

            • My Lying Eyes says:

              Nope you are talking about aesthetically functional features. But even if you were talking about purely aesthetic features the claim would have no merit. Does polo have a claim against brooks brothers for making a polo shirt. Of course not even though the design is not similar but exactly the same. And you are talking about two backpacks actually. But it does not matter what you are talking about. The law applies to trucks and backpacks the same.

              • SSD says:

                Which features am I talking about?

                • My Lying Eyes says:

                  It is a backpack so unless you are taking about a logo the rest of the backpack serves a functional purpose including the placement of the straps etc. Are you quizzing me? I did not write the article, you did. The onus is on you to explain what you meant in the article. I look forward to a response detailing why the entire design of a the pack in question is no functional in nature. But then again as I have stated already it really does not matter. Trade dress will not work in this situation and Walmart knows it, 5.11 knows it. But I trust we can expect more IP caused vapors here.

                  • SSD says:

                    You’re talking all of us that I don’t know what I’m talking about so now the ball is in your court. You have led everyone to believe that you know precisely why I am wrong, so tell us. What features am I referencing?

                  • This Is Neato says:

                    You sound like an Internet Expert. You’ve got me curious, what features is SSD talking about? That way I’ll know you really the expert you want me to believe and not just some random guy who talks in circles and throws around archane terms like vapors.

                    • My Lying Eyes says:

                      Whatever feature he is referring to, which I imagine to be the placement of the Molle straps, the design of the back padding, the design of the backpack straps, does not matter. This is not trade dress in any way. I do not care if you believe me. And you mean archaic.

          • netrunner says:

            lmao what android phone looks like an iPhone wack analogy

            • My Lying Eyes says:

              You do not see the similarity in design between an android and an iPhone? That is pretty wack.

              • Jon Meyer says:

                Lying Eyes, wtf are you babbling on about? If you are going to throw comparisons and analogies around, at least make ones that actually f*cking work. When was the last time you confused an F150 for a damn Sierra/Silverado? I didn’t think so. I could survey a 1000 people coming and going from any busy place of commerce on this planet and I guarantee that over 90% would not confuse an iPhone for any Android out. Same for any truck from Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, etc. Trade Dress isn’t when two different things are designed to do the same thing; inevitably they are going to look similar because they were intended to do the same thing. It is when they look almost identical and it would confuse the majority when it comes to identifying who made it.

                Trade Dress: a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging (or even the design of a building) that signify the source of the product to consumers.

                The gavel has struck.

  5. Doc_robalt says:

    Seriously this warranted an article. What about North American Rescues blatant copy of ITS’s ETA pouch. Hell Blackhawk and LBT have had the same identical aidbags since I came in 10 years ago. And lets not forget how everyone jumped onto the slim aidbag wagon after TSSI made the M9 AidBag. This isn’t new and most common looking 3 day assault pack or daypack look pretty much the same. So yea I’m kinda confused on how this is an article.

    • Felix says:

      I disagree here.

      First copying gear for government porcurement is what many companies do, its more or less tolerated between producers. If you dont want to get your gear copied, go to the patent office.

      This packs are clearly made for the commercial market, where government requirements arent an excuse. I understand your point of saying “its a daypack, what should we Change?!” Well a daypack has some features you cant change, but look at this copy…everything is in the same Position, seam lines are identical, its not only the same idea we can almost speak of the same blueprint.

      • Booya says:

        “If you dont want to get your gear copied, go to the patent office.”.

        Even then all you’ve done is spend a ton of money to only lightly delay the inevitable. These days, I’m convinced patents are rarely worth the paper they’re printed on. An overseas company cares not about your patent and a domestic company changes 1 stitch or angle and it’s “completely different”. Or they blatantly copy it anyway without regard knowing full well unless it’s a major money maker, no one wants to sink 100’s of thousands of dollars into a court battle.

        Furthermore, buying a patent is a faster means to having your products copied now that the make and design are public knowledge. If you’re trying to delay a product getting copied (that’s tricky to reproduce anyway) your best bet is just to keep the info under wraps. Patents, in my opinion, are losing value at an alarming rate these days.

        • Felix says:

          Well said Sir!

          The real problem is that there are companies out there that give a shit about innovating. Quality manufacturers mostly have an “unwritten Codex” oft behaviour in this 🙂

          If you buy US, European or Australian made products you mostly buy innovative stuff.

          • mike says:

            Felix,

            You couldn’t be more wrong. The biggest threat these days is not some Chinese copy. The guys buying those probably wouldn’t spend the money on the US made version anyway. A lot of US companies that make quality stuff including some with very big names have zero problem ripping designs off. And coping designs for government sales isn’t tolerated between producers. Name one company who has said we don’t mind if you copy out products as long as you sell them to the government.

            • Felix says:

              Look at all the very similiar magpouches etc. nearly everyone is producing. Government is mostly just looking for the cheapest bidder here. Of course, no company is happy with this, and Im also not talking about flaggship designs, but about small products.

              But I get your point on domestic companies that copy products, but there are always black sheeps out there.

    • SSD says:

      It’s an article because it introduces the concept of Trade Dress as a means to defend IP. You are going to see more of it.

      • My Lying Eyes says:

        If we are going to be seeing more of it, I suggest you obtain a primer regarding the doctrine of aesthetic functionality. Again you need to think the Burberry plaid, not the Burberry scarf. And to your other points, please point me to a single suit recently that successfully used a trade dress claim or better yet, one in your area of expertise that successfully used trade dress. Patent and copyright are another animal entirely and the two should not be confused with trade dress.

        • SSD says:

          I can’t help you aren’t enough of a lawyer to win cases. You’re lecturing us on Trade Dress and you don’t know of any cases that have been successful? None? I didn’t mention copyright or patent for a reason.

          • My Lying Eyes says:

            I do not know of any. I am guessing by your response that you do know of some. Please share

            • SSD says:

              Google is your friend.

              • My Lying Eyes says:

                The only example I could find is the egregious example of life water which never went to trial , but I do not care enough to look anymore. I assume you know more but are keeping them secret. Tell you what, when 5.11 wins their suit against sog I will mow your lawn. If they never bring suit I will just bask in my internet told you so glory. No need to do anything for me. U

                • This Is Neato says:

                  You got to be a lawyer as big of a bullshitter as you are. That is some weak shit.

                  • My Lying Eyes says:

                    Nothing weak about mowing a lawn of I lose my bet. How could I strengthen my response to meet your power level? No a lawyer either. No desire for their arcane knowledge. Just know a bit about making products. I always enjoy your sycophantic comments here. That word is neither arcane not archaic.

                • SSD says:

                  The most effective legal action never results in a day in the court room. There are books filled with Trade Dress case law. For some reason, you don’t want to acknowledge that.

                  I know of several instances where companies in the tactical industry have been successful in compelling a competitor from continuing to violate their trade dress.

                  • My Lying Eyes says:

                    I do not debate either of those points but I would be very surprised if any of the examples you are personally familiar with did not involve a patent claim. If someone told me I was violating their patent I would take that very seriously. If someone said I was violating their trade dress I would tell them I looked forward to being served with their papers

  6. mike says:

    Now one simply has to decide if the idea of a SOG or 5.11 label on their bag makes them wretch less.

  7. JB says:

    You guys are missing something. Who said 5.11 was the actual source of the design? 5.11 may have been the first to put it out over here but odds are they had it farmed out to an Asian supplier. That supplier probably put the design together and 5.11 just approved it and stuck their name on it. That same supplier then goes to SOG and they did the same thing. Neither company owns the design just the marketing.

    • SSD says:

      Do you have any evidence of this or are you sharing your “expertise”?

      • My Lying Eyes says:

        Says the person sharing his ip expertise.

      • Riceball says:

        I think that JP does have a point, it’s not exactly an uncommon practice for an overseas company to make some sort of widget that gets sold with different labels on it. All you have to do is look at the cheap no name knife market to see this, how many different versions of the same cheap folders are out that are the exact same except for the label and maybe color. Those knives almost certainly all come from the same factory or factories and are then approached by companies like S&W and others who go to them and say, “We’d like a knife that we can put our name on” and they probably get a catalog of different knives they can choose from and every other company that wants a knife to put their name on picks from the exact same catalog.

    • Paralus says:

      Supposition, even if reasonable, doesn’t make it so.

      I’m betting it was a 5.11 design considering this came out much later.

  8. Jon says:

    Here in St. Robert, I believe I saw some 5.11 at the local walmart…I also see a lot of the digital camo hunting gear coming around. Or even fake multi cam on the aisles…

    gotta make that dollar somehow I guess.

  9. Ben Branam says:

    Entire companies have been successful just coping other designs, have you heard of Condor Gear. They started out just coping Blackhawk Gear. Everyone copies everyone else in the gear industry it seems.

  10. phil says:

    the 5.11 packs are VTAC, Viking Tactics helped design and test them. I’m honestly not surprised to see even more knockoffs in walmart…of any brand–but i am really bummed out that a great tool maker like SOG let them put their name on a bag that will wear out carrying school books.

  11. Stefan S. says:

    Wow, amazed how spun up you all are over this. Must be a boring day at the office. LOL.

  12. mcs says:

    One primary difference between the “tactical” bags in Walmart and the real deal is that they seem to be made of low denier PVC-backed polyester instead of much sturdier urethane-backed nylon. The fiber/backing ratio is incredibly low, and even the webbing appears to be polyester instead of nylon. Wouldn’t trust the thread to be any different. Ultimately cheap and predatory substitutions, and unfortunately common attitudes.

  13. GW says:

    What if I said that the same Factory or one around the block from where 511 has some of their offshore pieces done made these bags for Wal-Mart.

    I had a guy try to sell me my own bag back to me one time. What a turd. This was after we shopped these bags around for a foreign contract that had to be imported due to the price in the RFQ. I will hurt him if I see him at SHOT. and by Hurt him I will have Lindsey insult his manhood then push him down.

  14. Luke says:

    anyone with an eye for backpacks can tell that the walmart bag is a ripoff. There are plenty of day pack designs and new ones every day, you don’t get two bags looking that similar by accident. if nothing else look at the seam going down the front of the bag, pretty distinctive.

    That being said, these packs are different enough that this is not a case of “putting a different tag on it.” Even if these were made at the same factory, they were made with different patterns, specs, fabrics, and probably QC standards. you could have Arcteryx jackets and Old Navy fleeces made at the same factory (unlikely) but that in no way equalizes the products. The “same factory” cliche is tired and moot.

    The most likely scenario as I see it is someone bought a 5.11 pack, mailed it to china and said “make me this bag, and make it for less then $10.” at that price I doubt an american was paid to do the design piracy.

  15. Tirod says:

    If you buy gear to use it and it works, you don’t give a damn about the cheap ripoffs. It’s the gear queers who whine about it because everybody gets to look just like them at the mall.

  16. mark says:

    If the original 511 pack is made in a contract factory rather than in house, then it’s probably safe to assume that SOG simply bought the same pack from them under their own label.

    Went to Alibaba and found what looks to be the bag in question, for less than $20 wholesale from the contract manufacturer.

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Outdoor-Military-Tactical-Assault-Backpack-with_1836409775.html

    • Asian manufactured products will normally be sold to whomever wants them and some companies have been seeing their Asia made products/designs on Alibaba for years. It’s sometimes the same product made by the same factory but without labels, and it’s kinda understood to be “Chinese” bad business. I think the real lesson could be to build (and buy) American whenever possible. Even 5.11 is getting on board with the purchase of Beyond and investing in US manufacturing. Innovative design is as American as it gets, build it in the USA and we’ll keep it that way.

  17. Halon330 says:

    I picked up one of the SOG backpacks at Wal-Mart a few months back. I bought a little gas saver car to save some cash over what it costs to drive my truck. Found myself in need of a reasonably sized and priced bag to throw a few essentials into to keep in the trunk. Just happened to notice them at Wally World while looking around in Sporting goods. I normally don’t purchase that cheap of a pack, but since it was SOG branded I looked a little closer. Stitching and seams appeared solid, so for $40 I brought it home. So far has been a good bag. Plenty of room for intended purpose. Has been durable so far. My only complaint is the way the straps are designed. The shoulder straps are connected for a few inches at the top. I find that to be comfortable against my neck, I have to wear it lower on my back than I would like to. Overall, bang for buck at that price, it’s a great value. My local WM had then in tan, black, and a desert MARPAT clone.

  18. Blaine B. says:

    I wasn’t all that impressed with the Fieldline versions. I’m a little surprised and disappointed that SOG is getting into the segment in this manner. They are a reputable knife brand and now they are doing knock-offs like Condor?

  19. nate says:

    Had anyone even confirmed with 5.11 that it’s not a OEM pack?