springfield hellcat sig sauer P365
Neither of these popular pistols are on the California handgun roster. But they’re for sale in the other 49 states. (Jeremy S. for TTAG)

SIG Sauer announced today they are suing Springfield Armory alleging patent infringement on the P365 magazine design. I remembered the announcement of the new P365 like it was yesterday and was left wondering how the hell they managed to fit ten rounds in such a small gun. Well, the answer was a unique magazine design.

Springfield’s popular  Hellcat is a similar-sized pistol designed with the same goal in mind as the P365. They shoved as much ammo as they could into a remarkably tiny package. In fact Springfield got one more round in their standard flush magazine than SIG did

Magazine design went a long way in achieving this feat. According to SIG, Springfield’s Hellcat infringes on their patent of the P365 magazine.

Here’s SIG Sauer’s press release . . .

SIG SAUER, Inc. Files P365 Magazine Patent Infringement Case Against Springfield, Inc.

NEWINGTON, N.H., (May 11, 2021) – Today, SIG SAUER, Inc., filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Rock Island Division, alleging that Springfield, Inc. (Springfield Armory) infringes two SIG patents relating to SIG’s P365 magazine.

The P365 has seen tremendous commercial success due to the innovative design of the high-capacity magazine. In its complaint, SIG alleges that Springfield Armory’s making and selling of certain “Hellcat” branded magazines infringes upon two SIG patents. SIG SAUER is seeking injunctive relief, as well as monetary damages for Springfield Armory’s past and ongoing infringement.

Ron Cohen, President, and Chief Executive Officer, made the following statement:

“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 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.”

Patent Infringement?

The SIG P365 magazine functions as a combination of a double and a single stack design. The bottom portion is a double stack, and it gradually slopes into a single stack. This allows them to squeeze ten rounds in a short little magazine. The P365 magazine patent describes it as such.

A detachable box magazine for firearms includes a hollow magazine tube extending longitudinally along a median plane. The magazine tube defines a single-stack portion extending to an upper tube end with an upper tube opening. The magazine tube defines a double-stack portion positioned below the single-stack portion and extending to a bottom tube end with a bottom tube opening. For example, front portions of the opposite tube sidewalls have a stepped shape between the upper tube end and the double-stack portion, and the rear portions of the sidewalls have a linear taper between the upper tube end and the double-stack portion.

The Hellcat has been around for almost two years now, so why is SIG only now suing Springfield? It seems the patent wasn’t granted to SIG until March 30 of 2021.

I’m no legal beagle, and outside of my knowledge of bird law, I’m lost on most subjects involving intellectual property and patent infringement.

Does SIG Sauer have a case here? They no doubt believe they do, but that will be up to a court to decide. Stay tuned.

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