Editor’s Note: More information has been sent to us. A public court ruling pdf can be found at the bottom of this post, though it does not appear to be the final ruling cited in the Benchmade press release. It looks like a ruling on a particular motion from Benchmade which the Judge denied. We welcome explanation from actual legal professionals in the comments. – HCA
From Benchmade Knife Company:
Innovative American knife manufacturer celebrates permanent injunction that protects Benchmade’s intellectual property and prevents future patent infringement.
PORTLAND, Ore. (April 4, 2023)
— Benchmade Knife Company (Benchmade), the American manufacturer with more than 30 years of experience designing and manufacturing knives and edge tools, announces that it has secured a permanent injunction against Hogue, Inc. and Hogue Tool and Machine, Inc. (Hogue), prohibiting them from infringing one of Benchmade’s patents.
“This resolution honors Benchmade’s commitment to protecting IP and supports our drive for innovation,” says Benchmade CEO Jon deAsis. “Our brand has defined itself through industry leading, forward-looking designs and the court’s permanent injunction against Hogue is a win for the makers, and designers everywhere who look to the law to protect their work.”
In its final order in the case, the Court enjoined Hogue “from manufacturing, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing into the United States” any of Hogue’s accused knife designs or any other “products that practice” Benchmade’s patent. The Court also permanently enjoined Hogue and its representatives from inducing or contributing to anyone else infringing Benchmade’s patent in the United States.
With a focus on innovation and customer needs, Benchmade takes pride in combining skilled design with precision manufacturing to produce knives for customers all over the world. From active military, law enforcement, and first responders to hunters, everyday carry fans, and chefs, Benchmade knives are built to deliver the highest quality products on the market, a trait that fans have come to expect from the brand.
“Entrepreneurs and businesses must protect their intellectual property,” says Kristine Gittins, Benchmade’s executive vice president. “Benchmade will not allow its patented ideas to be pirated or misused and will continue to celebrate and honor the designs that other builders conceive and produce in the marketplace. This legal win is a loud, clear statement that we will vigilantly fight to protect Benchmade’s intellectual property rights.”
For more information about Benchmade Knife Company, please visit www.benchmade.com. Please direct media inquiries to Greg Fitzsimmons at email@example.com.
About Benchmade: Benchmade Knife Company is a premier knife manufacturing company headquartered in Oregon City, Oregon. With a focus on innovation and customer needs, Benchmade takes pride in combining skilled craftsmanship with precision manufacturing to produce knives for the world’s elite. www.benchmade.com
If you are as confused by this as I am, it is understandable. The release is fairly short on specifics. I caucused with some of my knife industry connections last night. Our first thought was that it might be related to Benchmade’s Axis lock, but the patent expired and many companies are using it. We think we may have come up with at least one model in question – the Hogue Trauma (right) looks awfully darn similar to the Benchmade Triage (left).
That said, it is my (very non-lawyer) understanding that design patents on knives are extremely hard to enforce. So that fact that they succeeded is noteworthy. I have reached out to Benchmade for more information, and probably will do so to Hogue as well. We’ll keep you posted on what we find. It is only conjecture at this point.