O. F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. v. Timney Triggers, LLC. - What You Need To Know Posted on 23 May 19:21 , 0 comments
LAST UPDATED 5/24/2016
Unless you've been under a rock the last few days you've likely read or heard [Breaking] news about Mossberg's announced filing of a lawsuit against drop-in AR15 trigger manufacturers Patriot Ordnance Factory, BlackDawn, DOA Arms, Tactical Fire Control, Battle Tested Equipment, T Vehr Manufacturing, Rise Armament, Elftmann Gun Products and possibly others to be named at a later date.
Most reports of the lawsuit posted to date claim that Mossberg is simply exercising its right ownership and control over U.S. Patent No. 7,293,385 B2, filed January 9, 2007 and awarded November 13, 2007 to Michael L. McCormick of CMC Triggers while others report that CMC Triggers is somehow manipulating Mossberg into being their own legal attack puppet in an effort to stifle competition. None of the reports thus far contain much information at all other than the announcement and some speculation (typically stated as fact) over the details of the cases and what effect they may have on the companies named as Plaintiffs. As is typical with just about every "Breaking News" report ever posted, no matter the subject, the rush to be the first and to get the most clicks has fueled a wide variety of reactions across the firearms community with no one seeming to have a clear picture of what is actually going on.
What is clear is that Mossberg, having legally obtained the Patent from CMC Triggers Corp., owns the rights to the intellectual property represented in the patent.
What has not been made clear, at least in the reports we've reviewed so far is what that ownership means in application as pertains to the innovative actions, designs, product development, processes and methods of the named lawsuit Plaintiffs. Some of you may see it all as clear as a bell and be wondering where I'm missing it. I'm not missing it. I see it as clear as a bell also. Traditionally we would all likely agree that when A person or company in America owns something they have right to it period and I'm sure that's how Mossberg would like for all of us to see it... but... and unfortunately for Mossberg, the fact is since February 7th 2012 Mossberg has been entangled in a brutal legal battle in Connecticut District Court Case Number 3:2012-cv-00198 with Timney Triggers, LLC in which Mossberg accuses Timney of Patent Infringement. The case against Timney was supposed to be the precedent setter. It was supposed to be the battle ax Mossberg could wield to slay all who dared infringement while swilling Supernaut IPA from New England Brewing Co.
Mossberg tried to play it right. Go after the biggest fish first and then use the experience (and precedence) to destroy all who may cross them.
That may have been the plan at first but it was quickly obvious that Timney was raring for a fight and funded well enough duke it out in court for the last 4 years and continuing to this day. A fight Mossberg may have expected. Losing the fight after 4 years is something they couldn't have expected or one would hope they would have been smart enough not to go down that road in the first place.
But go down that road they did and losing the fight with Timney is currently what they're doing and such a loss could be devastating to their world domination plans.
The Mossberg v. Timney lawsuit, as it progresses through the courts, has not been ignored by those with some skin in the game and Steve Watts of Elftmann Tactical (Elftmann Gun Products) laid it out to me in this way
Good Afternoon Mr. Bennett,
We've known for a long time that this might be coming, we went to Mossberg as soon as we found out they claim a patent. If they had been reasonable in the royalty amount we would have just started paying it even though the patent is very questionable. The amount they want is ridiculous, so we decided to wait and see what happens with the Timney case. Read the latest ruling in the Mossberg v. Timney case in full here. (PTO is the Patent and Trade Office)
Quote from page 2 "Lastly, on May 21 the PTO issued a first Office Action on the merits rejecting every claim of the patent-in-suit as unpatentable. The PTO determined that based on teachings in the prior art one of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention would have found the ‘385 patent claims obvious. The PTO rejected every claim over multiple combinations of prior art references cited by Timney in its reexamination Request."
And the Conclusion on page 9 "In sum, the PTO determined that the correct priority date of the ‘385 patent is March 22, 2004 (not 2002), all ten Grounds raised by Timney presented substantial new questions about the patentability of the ‘385 patent claims, and every claim of the patent is unpatentable based on multiple prior art combinations. Thus, every claim of the patent in suit is now under reexamination at the PTO. This case should remain stayed pending final resolution of the reexamination proceedings"
Based on that we made the decision to wait and see what happens, I guess we'll be seeing them in court now. It's interesting to see how overwhelming the support has been for the companies being sued.
Sooo... The question begs if the District Court of Connecticut is, as it appears throughout the latest ruling in the Timney case, questioning the patentability of all 385 patent claims granted in the original McCormick claim, What exactly, if anything, did Mossberg gain in their purchase of the Patent from CMC? If a gavel bangs in determination that the original Patent is and was at the time of the grant unpatentable all Mossberg gained was worthless paper and a whole lot of legal bills.
why would Mossberg be pushing these recent lawsuits in the face of what can only reasonably be summed up as a pending total loss in the Timney case?
The answer is simple. Until the gavel bangs Mossberg still holds the ax and if they can use it to weed out some of their competition via a mere threat of litigation (and the incurred expenses thereof).
Navigating Patents to avoid infringement is not a hard thing to do. Sign the contract, pay the royalties and get your machines turning.
Buying worthless, un-enforcable, un-patentable intellectual property through the aquisition of a Patent the courts are determining questionable at best, completely worthless at worst... Not quite so easy. Reporting the error and subsequent failure in court after an over 4 year battle to a group of your investors can be devastating.
I hope you all take the time to read, study and understand the linked pdf's of all of the pertinant documents we've collected to date. They should help you understand that the quickly announced lawsuits everyone is talking about right now are very likely nothing more than a barking chained dog.
***This blog post will be updated as more (factual) information pertaining to the TImney suit and the multi-party suit announced over the weekend are found and / or become available to us.***
In the meantime we're selling the Hell out of some badass drop-in triggers and we plan to keep that going well into the long run.
Y'all be good to each other,
Ground Zero Precision