In a move that’s caught a lot of people by surprise, Mossberg is filing suit against a series of drop-in trigger manufacturers. Mossberg holds the patent to the concept of the trigger pack, which they acquired from CMC triggers.
So far Mossberg has listed 12 companies in their lawsuit including Black Rain Ordnance, Elftmann Gun Products, Franklin Armory, the Patriot Ordnance Factory and Rise Armament. All Outdoors Tech has a complete list of companies named in the suit as of now.
Other companies may be added to the lawsuit as the drop-in trigger group is a popular type of aftermarket upgrade for many firearms. This kind of aftermarket trigger is very common for ARs, the most popular firearm in America today. If successful, Mossberg may seek damages, royalties, or force competitors to stop manufacturing drop-in trigger systems altogether.
Mossberg’s decision to sue has already caused a stir in the gun community. Some shooters agree that Mossberg has the right to protect their intellectual property as any other company does. Others see this as a strong-arm tactic to force competition out of the market.
There are also some people who are asking whether or not the patent is valid in the first place. The patent, available here, describes “[A] module housing [that] includes at least one pin receiver defined by two openings formed in the module housing, one on each lateral side of the housing…so as to align with a pin receptacle of the firearm when the module housing is in the operating position.”
Critics of the suit claim that the patent is overly broad and describes a trigger system that pre-dates the patent. Similar trigger designs have been in use for decades such as with Heckler & Koch firearms. Other trigger pack systems have been around for a while, and today, even some handgun designs use a single-piece sub-frame that contains the trigger components of the firearm.
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CMC Triggers issued this statement to the Firearm Blog in the wake of the lawsuit’s announcement. “CMC Triggers is a Christian company, privately held and not owned by O.F. Mossberg or anyone else. We pay our bills when they’re due including our royalty responsibility to O.F. Mossberg.
“Fair competition in the market place (sic) is only fair if the playing field is level. We proudly stand with them in their pursuit of what is right in regard to all the companies that infringe on their patent.”
If Mossberg is successful in this pursuit, many companies may be affected depending on how Mossberg chooses to go forward.