Dear Mr. Santayana - History DOES Repeat Itself!

Just musing here…do any of you firearms history buffs remember the fiasco which brought the international lawsuit of Glock vs. S & W? Smith’s SIGMA pistol was so close to Glock’s - and for a lower price - that Glock sued them, with a settlement rumored to be between $5M and $8M - a hefty sum back in the '90’s. You can still buy a version of the Sigma in Smith’s “SD” series - it still retains the sleek and elegant lines of the original - it’s downright handsome compared to a Glock. A similar lawsuit took place after the Spanish-American War. Springfield Armory designed a rifle so close to captured Mauser K93s that it was forced to pay royalties to Mauser until WWI began. The rifle was our 1903 Springfield - Mauser went on to adopt the 8mm Mauser cartridge in their K98 rifle. It was said that the .323 caliber rifle could safely fire our '06, but this sounds like an urban legend. FYI

I have a product development background and kind of geek out over IP law and issues. I’d not known of the Glock V S&W case, so I reaearched it after seeing your post. In the end, much of what makes up a modern semi auto handgun is based on patents that expired decades ago. A lot of it was invented by JMB. Yes, the Sigma was a lot like a Glock, but all Glock really had in the end was a small area around the sear covered under IP that SW agreed to modify in their designs, and pay Glock for the troubles. Most IP cases are a lot of posturing and fuss over very little. One that sticks out as a real, honest to God infringement, was when Polaroid took Kodak to court for violating its patents. Kodak had assumed they could dance around the patents and maybe pay a royalty, but in the end had to totally dismantle their instant film division, the patent infringement was so severe.

A lot of it was Glock putting the screws to their dealers, telling them they had to choose between them and Smith & Wesson.

The Sigma looks like a nice little pistol at the price. I’d consider one.

1 Like