Daniel Defense Says DPMS Violated Copyright

July 15, 2014

A leading AR-style rifle manufacturer has filed a legal complaint against a rival company it says has violated copyright laws over its logo and trademark.

Black Creek, Georgia-based Daniel Defense, Inc. filed a copyright infringement complaint in the U.S. District Court for the southern district of Georgia June 24 against Remington Outdoor Company's DPMS/Panther Arms group claiming that DPMS copied Daniel Defense's "Lighter, Stronger, Better" slogan and its ">>" chevron logo.

The legal action comes as the Remington Outdoor Company is reeling from a series of problems with some of its firearms and bad public relations. The company recently recalled its Model 700 rifle over inadvertent discharges, and sales of its newly-released R51 compact handgun have been rocked by a series of reported malfunctions. The company also executed a number of layoffs and closings as it moves more of its production facilities out of gun-unfriendly New York to a new manufacturing facility Alabama.

According to a copy of the Daniel Defense complaint obtained by Grand View Outdoors, Daniel Defense claims DPMS used the phrase "Lighter, Stronger and even more badass" in advertising material to promote its GII AP4 rifle and used a modified version of the chevrons to promote its GII Bull rifle in 2014 catalogs and web sites.

DPMS's "infringing mark ... appropriates and uses the dominant portion of the [Daniel Defense] distinctive mark, does so wherein the infringing mark is predominantly shown in direct association with the sale of the same goods, in the same markets and to the same class of customers as the plaintiff," the complaint says. "Moreover, the [DPMS] company name is not predominantly shown anywhere on the website page, thus adding to further customer confusion."

The complaint asks DPMS and its parent company to stop using the alleged copyrighted phrase and logo, destroy all advertising collateral and other promotional material using the logo and phrase and reimburse Daniel Defense for its legal action.

“We will defend our brand vigorously against anyone who infringes on our intellectual property; regardless of whether it is an unintentionally or an intentional attempt to create brand confusion,” said Daniel Defense spokesman Jordan Hunter.

Remington has a deadline to respond to the complaint by July 24. Emails to the company seeking comment on this story were not answered.