Not too long ago Mossberg acquired the rights to a patent for a drop in trigger; a trigger designed by someone else. Mossberg then proceeded to file suit against a host of trigger manufacturers – including Timney – for infringement on the patent they now owned. There is nothing uncommon about this behavior. It is simply a way for companies to protect their intellectual property. Uncommon or not, I didn’t see this as a good thing. This is partly because I felt the patent was issued without merit. At its basic level it was like trying to patent an aftermarket wheel that matched the lug pattern on a common automobile.
This all caused some bit of hoopla in the firearms industry, partly because there were of lot of manufacturers involved in the litigation and partly because it seemed, well, like sort of a devilish thing to do. I like Mossberg as a company, mostly because they make reliable products for an affordable price. I own, use, and trust their stuff frequently. I also like Timney triggers because after years of pulling them I’m convinced they offer the best interface between a shooter and a gun. In a way it was like two of my friends were fighting it out.
Fortunately, it seems logic has solved this problem. As reported on the Firearm Blog, the patent in question has been found invalid. It also seems that – as it should be – the free market will sort it all out. Instead of leaving it up to lawyers and the like, may the best trigger win. I’m still gong to buy and use Mossberg products – I strive to not let the work of lawyers influence my life, happiness, or shooting.
There is a lesson here for all, in business and in life: If you want success, just be the best, litigation generally just causes a mess.