Santa Ana, CA – The court denied Surefire’s preliminary injunction motion and silenced its attempt to shoot down Advanced Armament’s silencer advertising. (Motion details blogged here). The court quickly pointed out that the accused advertisement doesn’t make any reference to Surefire and the pictured suppressor is not readily identifiable as a Surefire product. Surefire must be questioning its decision to file a lawsuit that – unlike the advertisement at issue – unequivocally identified its product as the one pictured in the advertisement and brought more attention to it than the advertisement itself. Indeed, Surefire submitted discussions from weapon forums that referenced the lawsuit and the advertisement at issue.
The alleged four false statements at issue were: “(1) the SureFire suppressor shown uses spot welds; (2) SureFire’s spot welds are not as strong as the fusion welds used by AAC; (3) SureFire’s spot welds are likely to fail during normal semi-automatic and full-automatic firings; and (4) AAC’s suppressors are more durable than suppressors like the SureFire suppressor shown.” The court determined that the statements were not literally false on their face or by necessary implication because the suppressor cannot be positively identified as Surefire’s. As a result, the court also found that Surefire could not evidence actual injury because the non-comparative statements cause injury to all competitors and “none is more likely to suffer from the offending broadcasts than any other.” Thus, Surefire could not show a likelihood of success on the merits or significant hardship if the preliminary injunction was not granted. The case is SureFire, LLC v. Advanced Armament Corp., SACV 08-1405 DOC (C.D. Cal. 2008).