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ACTION MARKERS CONTACTED BY K2.


Some thoughts on all of the litigation, and threats of litigation, in the paintball industry...

We received a letter from the lawyers for K2/Brass Eagle/WGP on June 11, 2004. They are demanding that we "immediately cease and desist" from selling the AM-P Illusion marker.

As we sat and discussed our options at Action Markers, it occurred to me that one of the things that made Bud Orr a respected leader in the industry was that he didn't go around threatening to sue everyone like Smart Parts has done. While Smart Parts has been referred to as "Nazi's" because of their strong-arm tactics, I have read many posts and articles citing much respect and praise for Bud Orr and Tom Kaye. A large part of the respect given them was due to the fact that over the years they probably could have sued other companies, but chose not to. Many people have given them credit for encouraging innovation and growth in the paintball industry as a result of refraining from suing everyone.

So, what has changed with WGP? I suppose the fact that a large, multi-national company now owns them is what has made the difference. So... all this time was it just the lack of financial resources that prevented WGP from suing everyone that used the term "Autococker"(r)? I'd like to think not, but only Bud Orr knows the answer to that.

The letter we received is quite vague. It alludes to "patents, trademarks and/or trade dresses" but doesn't reference any. It states that they were "shocked" to discover that Action Markers currently sells markers that "infringe" their properties, and has caused "excessive customer confusion". Really? People are mistaking the Illusion for an AutoCocker(r) or a Sniper? I highly doubt it. I suppose it has been "compared" to a Sniper, but, causing excessive customer confusion? Huh? Give the players more credit than that... We have not received a single call from a customer asking to buy an Autococker(r) or Sniper from us. I wonder how many calls they have received confusing the Illusion with their guns?

Their letter also states that they plan to aggressively protect their "intellectual" rights, but the letter never mentions exactly what those intellectual rights are. The letter finishes by reminding us that litigation in Federal Court "can be very expensive". In other words, K2/Brass Eagle/WGP has a lot more money than puny Action Markers, so you may as well just give in.

Their threat of action is really too bad for the players. When we introduced the Illusion pump marker, we introduced several innovative designs. The Illusion is the only marker in the world to offer the pump player five types of interchangeable feed options. It also has an entirely different trigger system than the AutoCocker(r). It has an entirely different body and includes dual push rods which are flush with the body. In fact, there have been several articles written which explain that the Illusion is not a "Cocker" or a Sniper.

I recall Bud Orr, as well as numerous WGP employees, stopping by our booth at the Hell's Survivor's game in 2002. Bud took a good look at the Illusion and complimented us on it. "Nice gun" was his exact comment. If it was so obviously violating their "intellectual rights", shouldn't he have put us on notice then?

Because of the innovative features of the Illusion, it became a big hit with serious pump players. Is K2/Brass Eagle/WGP afraid of a small, new-comer like Action Markers? Obviously, rather than encourage competition, as we do, they would rather stomp out any competition with all of their might and financial power.

The only positive thing in this is that we take it as a compliment that they sent us their threatening letter. That means that they recognize us as a serious competitor and a company that they need to stop.

As a player, you may think; "what's the big deal.... so what if AM and other companies can't make a particular model?" Well, with Brass Eagle and WGP being bought by the same company, and now Tippmann being bought by a huge company, the industry is headed towards monopolies. With monopolies come fewer choices, less innovation and higher prices.

And, where will they stop? If our Illusion which only resembles their guns, is fair game, are they going to go after barrel companies that make barrels with Autococker(r) threads? After all, by K2's definition, they are infringing upon WGP's intellectual rights too.

While I think it's a mistake for K2 to take these actions, just as I think Smart Parts has made a big mistake, K2/Brass Eagle/WGP is right about one thing. We don't have the resources to fight them. Our only choice is to "cease and desist"!

If you are the type to keep score, this is (1) win for K2/Brass Eagle/WGP and (1) big loss for consumers and players. You now have one less choice. Undoubtedly, because of their huge resources K2 will score many more points in the near future, with paintball players being the losers!

As you may know, Action Markers' slogan is "Welcome to Tomorrow!" It signifies that our goal is to give players innovative products.

Well paint-ballers: Welcome to K2/Brass Eagle/WGP...

Note: The viewpoint expressed herein is strictly my personal opinion. I invite readers and paintball players to form their own opinion on the subject. "Autococker" is a registered trademark of WGP. The full text of K2's demand letter will soon be posted on the AM web site.

Sincerely,

Steven Deam, Sr.
Action Markers, Inc.
www.actionmarkers.com

^^Taken from Flagpull.com

Cliff Notes:

1)WGP is suing Action Markers
2)WGP wants Action Markers to stop making their Illusion marker
3)Bud Orr has lost a lot of respect in the paintball community
4)WGP may go after everyone with an auto-cocking marker
5) Monopolies abound

Read if you want more details. Please DO NOT quote this post in it's entirity becuase it is very large. If reffering to it, just the "The 1st post", or something like that.
 

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also a letter has been sent to Jackal bodies... ordering cease and desist. Wonder how far this will go. ANS actually sent a notice out to its stores who sell the product saying remove anything with the autococker name on it. I agree Orr is gonna lose alot of respect on this. Especially since the markers have been around for awhile.
 

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dude thats gay

all of these monopolies are ruining pb

there are many small companies with quality products that are getting pushed out

we as paintballers are trying to expand the sport

these monopolies are just poisoning pb they are threatining to sue other companies if htey are sued we are gettingless products and less choices and we will then see higher prices

dam u nazi's ......... we may soon have more than just 1 nazi company

i aloso have a qusetion

when wgp was bought out who has more control over the company

bud ? brass eagle/k2

who has more authority when making decisions .......

cuz if its be/k2 decidiing to sue people its not bud orrs fault is it ??

if wut i am saying is correct i have loss no respect for the man who continues to help this sport grow

Zeo
 

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Discussion Starter #4
GBRudy16 said:
also a letter has been sent to Jackal bodies... ordering cease and desist. Wonder how far this will go. ANS actually sent a notice out to its stores who sell the product saying remove anything with the autococker name on it. I agree Orr is gonna lose alot of respect on this. Especially since the markers have been around for awhile.
Yes, Jackal had just released something to that affect. ANS has too. It's starting again...

Oh, and Bud Orr would definatley have the final say in all of this....he built the company fromt he ground up, believe me, he has executive powers.
 

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ahh man .....

lol i can imagine myself saying

" man bud ..... u used to be cool ...."

yea yea sumwut from the simpsons ....
 

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Why would Bud Orr do this? He was always one for the advancement of paintball, and I just can't see him doing this. What is the paintball world coming to..
 

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I see no problem with this. autococker is a trade marked term...nobody should be using it.
And comparing this to SP is completely uncalled for. The difference is SP made up their claim to the electronic marker. WGP actually has physical proof that can't be disputed that they trademarked autococker.
Also, to say that WGP doesn't encourage a progressive market place is wrong since they have never had a problem with people ripping off the autococker design(yes, i know budd too ripped it off but he could have easily copyrighted it and sued everyone to oblivion).

What you fail to realize is that PB is growing up...it is now a large industry and can't keep being the nice, copyright free industry that it was if it is to gain support from outsiders.
 

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**** wdp,smart parts,wgp,k2 dont use there ghey products ne ways

HAHA WGP I own a dye autococker stupid *** ********:rofl
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PaintBallBob said:
I(yes, i know budd too ripped it off but he could have easily copyrighted it and sued everyone to oblivion).
Looks like he's making up for lost time. :rolleyes:

Bud Orr must have some kind of say in this...he's been with the company from Day 1. If he approached K2 and told them to "cease and desist", I believe they would.

Why not compare it to Smart Parts? Both have patents that they are now using to force other companies out of buisness or at least force them into cutting their product line. They are the same.
 

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they arent forcing them to cut their product line theyre saying that they shall stop using the copyrighted term autocockers. I see no reason why its such a big deal for the other companies to use cocker.
And from what ive read(assuming this article happened in the past few weeks) WGP has been warning/threatening other companies for quite some time before they actually filled the suit.
The comparision to SP is adjunct and is used by you simply to pinch a live nerve. People are pissed off at SP because they copyrighted something that had allready been done long ago. As far as i know there is no contreversy over who owns the term autocker as WGP clearly does.
And also, this does confuse a buyer somewhat since they could mistake it for something that is more like a dynasty shocker were as this cocker knockoff isn't endorsed by WGP.
 

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I think that Orr has the right. The autococker is patented so all the companies that make autocockers without consent are stealing a patented product.
 

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Not actually. K2 is demanding that they cease and desist the SALES of the AM-p Illusion, according to the letter they posted on their website:

http://www.actionmarkers.com/amNews/K2 Letters/K2 letter re Illusion.pdf

Dear Sir:

We represent Worr Games Products, Brass Eagle, and K2 in intellectual property matters. Our clients own several valuable intellectual properties including United States patents, trademarks, and/or trade dresses that protect their unique paintball markers which are sold under various names including the trademark name Autococker(r). We have reviewed your products and we were shocked to discover that your company currently sells paintball markers that infringe upon these properties. Your intentional copying of our clients' products has caused excessive customer confusion that cannot continue unabated.

We therefore demand that you immediately cease and desist from all sales of the infringing products, namely those products currently known as the AM-P Illusion markers, and remove all for sale markers that infringe upon our clients' properties. Additionally, we further demand that you guarantee to us, in writing, no later than June 25, 2004 of your full compliance with our demands.

Your failure to comply with these demands will result in our recommendation to our clients that they seek immediate legal recourse by taking any and all appropriate legal measures to protect these valuable property rights. As your attorney will confirm, such legal measures include litigation in Federal Court, which is often quite expensive. We expect to obtain injunctive relief, which will prevent you from continuing to sell these markers, and to recover sufficient money to compensate our client for the tens of thousands of dollars in harm you have caused in addition to treble damages, attorney's fees and costs.

Should your attorney wish to discuss any aspect of this matter or advance other ameliorative actions, please feel free to contact our office before June 25, 2004.

Sincerely,

KEISLING PIEPER & SCOTT PLC
So you see, it's not about the Autococker name, which Action Markers has never used (to my knowledge). They're saying "your markers kind of look like our markers. Gimme $10,000+ or stop! Even if it's not illegal, we will sue your ass into debt!"

Which is really, fairly rude of them. To say the least.

Or WGP has turned over their company to some pretty filthy money-grubbing ****wads to say the most.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Shytkicker said:
So you see, it's not about the Autococker name, which Action Markers has never used (to my knowledge). They're saying "your markers kind of look like our markers. Gimme $10,000+ or stop! Even if it's not illegal, we will sue your ass into debt!"

Which is really, fairly rude of them. To say the least.

Or WGP has turned over their company to some pretty filthy money-grubbing ****wads to say the most.
Precisely.
 

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either bud orr is posessed by some evil demon, or k-2 is trying to make every dollar they can.
 

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I doubt Orr had much to do with the decision. He incorporated (assumedly) to protect himself from SP, but that seems to have backfired. I hold my grudge against K2, more than WGP.
 

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Except... except that the AM markers look and act nothing like 'cockers. Kinda missing that trademark 3-way, not to mention that their valve/velocity adjustment system work completely diffirent in respects to autocockers. It's really no more similar to 'Cockers than any other marker out there.

Just because WGP owns a patent doesn't mean that anyone they sue is actually infringing.
 

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I could be wrong, but I don't think WGP (bud) Has a patent on the design. Glen Palmer came up with the original concept, and he never patented it, But i belive he would have sufficient prior art to prevent anyone else from patenting it. They are suing over trademark infringement, not patent rights, big difference.
 
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