U.S. Weapons Maker Seeks Ban on Chinese Competitor’s Sights
(Bloomberg) -- A Michigan weapons maker is seeking to halt imports of what it says are cheap Chinese knockoffs of its battery-powered pistol sights.
Trijicon Inc. filed a patent complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission on July 29, saying that Holosun Technologies Inc., of Los Angeles County, is working with a manufacturer in China to sell “red dot” sights that replicate features on which Trijicon has held a patent since 2013.
While the Trump administration has made intellectual property protection a key plank of its policy towards China, patent cases such as Trijicon’s are subject to detailed legal procedures. Ben Langlotz, a gun patent attorney with Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works LLC not working on the case, said there are multiple patents on red-dot sights, spanning a variety of characteristics.
Trijicon claims its sights have housing with increased durability and easier use. The technology is used in Trijicon’s Specialized Reflex Optic, which has a recommended retail price of $749. The most expensive Holosun sight referenced in the complaint goes for about $471, its website shows.
Trijicon, whose biggest source of revenue last year was from federal law enforcement agencies, said in its complaint said that its sights are used by hunters in competitions and for target shooting. The market for guns and related products has boomed amid rising social unrest in the U.S. this year.
Trijicon also filed a mirror suit in federal court in California, but that’s likely to be on hold until the ITC case is done. Agency investigations typically take 15-18 months, while a typical patent case in district court lasts two to five years.
Trijicon declined to comment, as did a representative from Holosun.
The ITC case is In the Matter of Certain Red Dot Sights and Components Thereof, 337-3477, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington). The district court case is Trijicon Inc. vs. Holosun Technologies Inc., 20-6742, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles)
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