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S&W Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Custom Gunsmiths

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Late last week the special Smith & Wesson M&P build for the Brownells Dream Guns Project was announced. Today the parties involved, to include Apex Tactical, Brownells, DP Custom Works, Blowndeadline Custom, and SSvi all received a Cease & Desist letter from a law firm representing Smith and Wesson. In part that letter included this:

It has recently come to Smith & Wesson’s attention that you have developed and are promoting for sale an “M&P Dream Gun,” (the “Infringing Product”). To create this product, you have modified an authentic Smith & Wesson M&P® 9mm pistol by, inter alia, changing the grip texture and shape, machining the slide, and adding numerous accessories and replacement parts, while retaining the S&W® Logo on the product. The December 18, 2015 Apex press release announcing this product and explaining Apex’s intent to exhibit the Infringing Product at the January 2016 SHOT Show exhibition is attached to this correspondence as Exhibit B. The numerous alterations made to the original design of Smith & Wesson’s firearms constitute not only unauthorized modifications to Smith & Wesson’s proprietary designs and misuse of Smith & Wesson’s trademarks, but present significant safety and quality concerns. Indeed, these modifications void the Smith & Wesson factory warranty on these products. Your advertisement and display of the Infringing Product to promote your gunsmithing services, and other products and services, constitutes misuse of Smith & Wesson’s trademarks and must cease.

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The demands are listed thusly:

These intellectual property and safety and quality concerns are extremely serious and demand your immediate attention. Accordingly, we demand that you:

1. Confirm in writing that neither you nor any third party will display the Infringing Product, or any similar product, at the 2016 SHOT Show or make any other commercial display or promotion of such Infringing Product;

2. Cease the sale of any firearm modified by you or any other third party that bears any Smith & Wesson trademark, including, but not limited to the S&W® Marks or the M&P® Marks;

3. Turn over to Smith & Wesson your inventory of the Infringing Product, or any Smith & Wesson product modified by you in the first instance that bears any mark owned by Smith & Wesson.

If we do not hear from you by January 5, 2015, Smith & Wesson will pursue its rights and remedies to the fullest extent permitted by law without further notice to you.

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