May 26, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
Two well-known gunmakers are having a verbal battle over SIG Sauer's contention that Springfield Armory has infringed on its P365 magazine patents. The combative situation is mostly a he-said, she-said deal at this point, with an Illinois court likely to decide who is correct.
The lawsuit involves two of the most popular concealed carry handguns on the market today and specifically cites SIG Sauer's P365 magazines and the similarity to them of the magazines sold with the Springfield Armory Hellcat, another very popular high-capacity subcompact 9mm designed for concealed carry.
In its complaint, SIG Sauer says that Springfield Armory’s making and selling of certain Hellcat branded magazines infringes upon two SIG Sauer patents. Consequently, SIG Sauer is seeking injunctive relief, as well as monetary damages for Springfield Armory’s “past and ongoing infringement.”
“When the SIG Sauer P365 was introduced it took the market by storm as the most innovative high-capacity, micro-compact pistol to be introduced due to its magazine capacity, and quickly became one of the top-selling handguns in the market due to this unprecedented innovation,” SIG Sauer President Ron Cohen said in a news release. “SIG is not a litigious company, but given the extent of infringement by Springfield, SIG has a responsibility to protect both our intellectual property and the significant investment we make to develop our innovative products.
“As a company, we are proud to yield more than 100 patents worldwide, with more than 40 patent applications currently pending, and we will protect the extensive research and design that goes into developing these patents rigorously.”
For Springfield Armory's part, the company was quick to respond to the allegations.
“Springfield Armory is steadfast in its conviction that those claims are without merit,” a Springfield Armory release stated. “The innovative design of the Hellcat magazine is our own and works only with the Hellcat. The superior design of the Hellcat magazine is able to hold more rounds in an overall smaller magazine. Springfield Armory’s Hellcat magazine was independently awarded several patents of its own and has received numerous industry recognitions.”
Springfield Armory President Steve McKelvain further explained his company’s stance on the current litigation.
“We feel that these claims are frivolously litigious in nature and designed to thin out the competition in an increasingly crowded firearms market,” McKelvain said. “Springfield Armory will vigorously defend its right to produce the class-leading patented Hellcat handgun and magazines for our loyal customers––past, present and future.”
The SIG Sauer lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Rock Island Division. Owners of both of these popular concealed carry pistols will no doubt be looking on with interest as this matter is litigated in court beginning on a so far unannounced date.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.