Maxpedition owner Tim Tang has decided to start selling his new line of fixed-blade knives, despite accusations from Mad Dog Knives owner Kevin McClung that Tang ripped off his designs.
Tang had originally pulled the new line of knives after the dispute erupted recently at SHOT Show 2014 in an attempt to salvage his friendship with McClung.
Apparently that friendship is now over.
Tang called me the other day and explained his decision to re-introduce the new knife line. He admits his knives are very similar to McClung’s but said he took steps to ensure they were different enough to avoid any legal problems.
“From the intellectual-property standpoint, we checked trademarks, copyrights and patents on a wide range of knives … and there was no infringement or none that we could perceive,” Tang said.
“From our research, there are a lot of knives that look similar. Our knives do have similarities to Mad Dog Knives, but they have similarities to a lot of other knives as well.”
McClung does not agree.
“I have trademarks and direct copyrights on those [designs] as a result of them being original work of mine as an artist,” he told KitUp!. McClung said he hasn’t decided if he will take legal action against Tang; that decision will come when Tang’s knives put on the market.
Tang’s new line will be available in late March. It will have short clip, long clip, fish belly, and tanto blade styles, made from hard-chrome finished D2 steel. Large models featured 6.25 inch blades that are .22 of an inch thick. Medium models had 5.5 inch blades that are .188 thick. And small models had 4.75 inch blades that are .15 of an inch thick.
There was also kydex sheath for each blade size. The large models will retail for $120. Medium models will retail for $110. And small models will cost $100.
McClung’s Mad Dog Knives cost between $700 and $1,300 each, but he said he isn’t worried about losing business to Tang.
“I don’t think that his [expletive] … copies of my knives are going to steal any of my business,” he said. “I make a far superior product than he does,” McClung said. “In this day and age, people are expected to license what they do when they are copying something or making it so close.”
If there is one thing I have learned covering the tactical gear and knife industry is that there are very few truly original designs and many, many variations of those original designs.
“The fact that it happens all the time in the industry does not make it right,” McClung said.
Tang has a different view.
“This thing has played out for several weeks, and in the beginning it was more emotional, but as things progressed it became more and more clear to me that no matter how we sliced it, Kevin was going to be unhappy with it,” Tang said.
“This is not about our relationship anymore; this is about Maxpedition having a good product. … We greatly improved accessibility of the product -- the price of the product in terms of taking a similar product and making it available to everyone at an affordable price.”