While Japan is making great strides in nuclear power plant operation and associated public relations management, and China is developing startling new food additives, the United States remains the world leader in “the development of technological advances in the muzzle-loading firearms industry.” Should the reader be unfamiliar with muzzle-loading firearms, think of Davey Crockett and his trusty rifle, “Old Betsey” (for the benefit of those readers whose memories have grown dim, Crockett was the character in the Disney movies who roamed the woods wearing a coonskin yarmulke).
In order to protect this key segment of American technological greatness from encroaching foreigners, one stalwart patriot is taking legal action. (Thompson/Center Arms Company, Inc. et al. v. Dikar Sociedad Cooperativa Limitada et al.) Yes, indeed, folks, Thompson/Center, which modestly bills itself as “a driving force” and “historically…the innovator in the muzzle loader firearms market” has sued a host (7) of cursed infringers, four of which are FOREIGNERS, for patent infringement and unfair competition. This lawsuit was “brought” (legalspeak for “filed”) in federal district court in the notably firearm-friendly state of Massachusetts.
In a further move to protect American’s dominance of this key technology, Thompson/Center lodged a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission, seeking a “permanent exclusion order” barring the importation of any “firearms and components thereof…that are covered by one or more claims” of its patents. In this complaint, Thompson/Center averred, in paragraph 108, that it currently utilizes two facilities, in Rochester, N.H., and Springfield M.A., for the manufacture, distribution, and/or repairs of its firearms, and employs about 345 full time employees. However, it went on, in paragraph 109, to describe a “restructuring” which will close the Rochester facility and result in the layoff of about half of the aforementioned personnel. Clearly this is yet another example of the link between America’s loss of technological superiority and high unemployment.
We applaud Thompson/Center. We, as a nation, must protect this technology, and, while we’re at it, we should redouble our efforts at maintaining our current technological lead in buggy whips, whale bone corset stays, kerosene lamps, and automobile starter cranks.