S&W Slams Brownells, Then Backtracks
Russ Chastain 12.23.15
Smith & Wesson recently nailed Brownells with a cease and desist letter, demanding a whole lot of stuff in regards to Brownells’ featuring of a S&W pistol in a series of super-customized guns called Dream Guns.
In the letter, they reportedly went a bit apey, demanding that Brownells stop making such guns using S&W products, agree not to display it at the 2016 SHOT Show, and “Turn over to Smith & Wesson your inventory of the Infringing Product, or any Smith & Wesson product modified by you in the first instance that bears any mark owned by Smith & Wesson.”
Seems like much ado about nothing.
Well, today we learn that S&W has regrouped and realized their mistake. They’ve reportedly released the following statement:
James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “I would like to clarify that we fully support the Brownells Dream Guns® Project and we appreciate that it showcases the many ways in which our customers – loyal fans of our M&P brand – can choose to customize their M&P firearms. Our decision to contact the companies that worked on the project was intended to protect the trademarks that support the M&P brand. When a product bears the Smith & Wesson and M&P trademarks and is purchased new with our lifetime service policy . . .
we want to be sure that the consumer knows it has passed our demanding quality standards. In our efforts to protect that promise and to preserve the brand that we and our customers cherish, we did not fully understand the intent of the Dream Guns® Project and we overlooked the opportunity to convey our enthusiasm for the creativity and innovation that Brownells and all of the companies involved have demonstrated. We look forward to seeing the firearm on display at the upcoming SHOT Show in January and at the NRA in May.”
‘I have spoken with James Debney, President of Smith & Wesson, who called me regarding the M&P® Brownells/Apex Dream Gun™,’ said Matt Buckingham, Brownells President. ‘It was a simple misunderstanding about the intention of the project. He made it clear that Smith & Wesson is excited to have their product featured in this fun and unique way. For our part, we are honored to include it in our Dream Gun lineup. Smith & Wesson is a legendary brand in this industry and we continue to be proud partners with them.’
So as it turns out, this was apparently just a big overreaction by S&W’s lawyers.