Smith & Wesson files Lawsuit against Cybergun, S.A.
Arizona based firearms manufacturer, Smith & Wesson has, on 17th June 2010 in the District of Arizona, filed a lawsuit against French airsoft retailer Cybergun, S.A., alleging Trademark Infringement, and Federal Unfair Competition related damages.
Smith & Wesson entered into a license agreement with Cybergun in 2005, giving Cybergun exclusive rights to use Smith & Wesson ‘Marks’ on licensed articles which included Airsoft guns, targets and ammunition, i.e. BBs. This license also extended to advertising and promotional material but express permission and approval had to be obtained from S&W for Cybergun to authorize third parties to use S&W ‘Marks’ in their promotional material.
In February 2009, Smith and Wesson allegedly notified Cybergun SA that third party retailer Palco Sports, a distributer for licensed Cybergun products, was allegedly using and displaying Smith & Wesson ‘Marks’ in it’s 2009 catalogue without express permission and approval from Smith & Wesson and that subsequently, Cybergun was in breach of their license agreement.
Subsequently, Cybergun allegedly permitted Palco Sports to once again use Smith & Wesson ‘Marks’ in the Palco Sports 2010 Sports Calender without prior written approval of Smith & Wesson and were notified of the breach on 31st March 2010. As a result of the failure of Cybergun to cure the numerous breaches, Smith & Wesson terminated the License agreement and all related provisions of the licence.
Despite the termination of the licence, Cybergun allegedly has continued to advertise and use the Marks with the Licensed Articles, and continues to sell those goods in violation of the License and in violation of federal trademark rights.