US retailer settles lawsuit over fake pocket knives

Maine retailer Kittery Trading Post (KTP) has settled out of court in a lawsuit brought by premium knife maker Spyderco.

Colorado-based Spyderco filed a seven-count lawsuit in January against KTP – which operates a bricks-and-mortar store as well as an online retail outlet – claiming that the company has selling low-cost knock-offs of its Spyderco Military and Para-Military brand folding knives. Those typically sell for upwards of $250 apiece, but were being sold by KTP for $75-$80 each, according to the complaint.

KTP had claimed that the knives sold at low cost sales were second-hand, but Spyderco said test purchases indicated the retailer described them as “clones” on receipts, indicating it knew they were fakes. The counterfeits were of low quality and bore the company’s distinctive “bug mark” logo, distinctive round hole in the blade, and also a copy of Spyderco’s signature “Golden, CO, USA, Earth” stamp.  

Terms of the settlement have not been revealed. Spyderco had been seeking between $600,000 and $2m for each of three alleged copyright infringements plus damages and costs.

For Spyderco the problem of counterfeiting goes back a long time. “We have been defending our company and our reputation against poor quality knockoffs of our products for decades,” says a statement on the company’s website.

“Through diligent policing of the marketplace, close cooperation with US and international customs authorities, and aggressive legal action, we have successfully defended the honour and integrity of our brand many times.”

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