Support The Moscow Times!

Kalashnikov's Relatives Take Companies to Court Over Toy AK-47s

The AK-47 assault rifle.

Relatives of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the late designer of Russia's famed assault rifle, are suing Russian importers of Chinese toys for trademark infringement over toy guns that feature "AK-47" markings.

The M.T. Kalashnikov firm, which was founded by the designer together with his daughter and grandson, is seeking damages ranging from 100,001 rubles ($2,172) to 300,001 rubles from each of the three defendants — companies based in southern Russia and the Far East, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday, citing materials from the Supreme Arbitration Court.

The lawsuit also says that custom officials had previously sued the three defendants for similar copyright violations.

Courts at that time ruled that the markings of AK-47 on the imported Chinese toy guns constituted unauthorized use of a registered trademark and fined the companies 30,000 rubles ($650), the report said.

Kalashnikov, who died last year aged 93, became a national icon and acquired worldwide fame for designing the AK-47 in 1947. The rifle is used in many countries and its name is widely recognizable around the word.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.