Counterfeit, anyone?

Discussion in 'Cold Steel Knives' started by The Whip, May 30, 2016.

  1. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    In a recent thread addressing copyright matters, a few people raised the notion that Cold Steel has, on more than one occasion, overstepped its bounds in defending its interests legally. (Please don't rehash the issue here! Go to the original thread if you want to address that topic some more.) This got me thinking about counterfeits, as I can't imagine a more underhanded method of stealing than passing off someone else's hard work as your own. I had seen the counterfeit page on Cold Steel's Web site, and I knew of a few other fakes out there. But as I was searching for photos for the Cold Steel Knives in Combat thread, I was utterly shocked and dismayed by how many Cold Steel counterfeits I ran into.

    I decided that it might be of public interest (as well as a warning to the Cold Steel fans here) to share pictures of the counterfeits I've discovered. I also figured that it might offer a little bit of perspective to those who think Cold Steel's litigiousness is overbearing and unfounded. As you peruse these pictures, imagine how much loss of potential revenue each one represents to Cold Steel. For the sake of brevity and clarity (not to mention sanity and storage space in my Postimage account!), I will only post one photo of each knife. I will also try not to repeat knives that are already on Cold Steel's Web site.

    First up, how about some blatant theft of Cold Steel branding and packaging?

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    Next, what about some outright counterfeits?

    [Due to photo limitations in the new BF software, these pictures were moved to posts #9 and #10.]


    Finally, what about some old-fashioned intellectual property theft?

    [Due to photo limitations in the new BF software, these pictures were moved to post #13.]


    Please feel free to post more of your own examples. I'm sure that I missed many.

    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  2. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    The 2 Ak-47's with UltraLocks are tough to tell they're fakes to me...

    The Aluminum one looks particularly good to me...what's the tip off?
     
  3. GAGL

    GAGL

    68
    Jan 1, 2016
    The Ti-Lite and Aluminium Version of the AK-47 are real CS Knives. Coltelleria Collini is a very reputable Knifestore in Busto Arsizio,Italy.
     
  4. DShiflet

    DShiflet

    Jan 25, 2013
    That Vietnam Tomahawk isn't a ripoff of Cold Steel, it's a rip off of the LaGana Vietnam Tomahawk that Cold Steel openly admits to copying(from the CS website:"It took Peter LaGana a lifetime of armed combat and months of design and testing to perfect the Vietnam Tomahawk. Now, there's an exact replica of this historic weapon. Like the original Vietnam Tomahawk, our copy is light enough to be carried all day without causing undue fatigue.").
     
  5. JohnnyMayhem

    JohnnyMayhem

    Aug 6, 2006
    I knew something was up with the 6 inch ti-lite that I handled that had aluminum scales on it.
     
  6. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    i like the mtech sheath better than the secure x blade duller on the recon scout copy.
     
  7. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm

    Feb 25, 2014
    Cold Steel has probably lost ZERO potential revenue on most of the obvious fakes. People will take a chance on a stupid-low price when they would never consider buying an item at a reasonable price. The damage is mostly to their brand name and rep. Until certain countries start respecting intellectual property and eBay grows a conscience, counterfeits are going to continue to surge. As one of those who thinks that CS is litigious and overbearing, I don't think this brings any perspective to the matter. linder and mtech are doing xerox copies in cheaper materials, by all means C and D them for being d-bags and bottom feeders. But letting loose the lawyers on san mai (without the III) is not cool--maybe CS "virtually" trademarked it the same way a LAWKS is "virtually" a fixed blade.
     
    Allan DeGroot likes this.
  8. oxman198

    oxman198

    Jun 17, 2013
    That brass knuckle folder looks pretty sweet lol, and good lord a liner lock rajah that's a hospital visit waiting to happen.


    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
     
  9. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    [Continued from post #1.]


    Next, what about some outright counterfeits?

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    I researched it and GAGL is correct. Those were pictures of obscure first-generation knives that I hadn't seen in a very long time. My apologies to Coltelleria Collini! I've removed those two pictures, so I'll replace them with three new ones: a fake, a counterfeit, and a rip-off.

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    No, it's a rip-off of Cold Steel's product. If United had called it "LaGana Tomahawk" or "1966 Tomahawk" or anything else besides "Vietnam Tomahawk," I wouldn't note it here. They couldn't even be bothered to come up with an original name; they stole Cold Steel's name for the item they were misappropriating.


    Sure, because damage to brand name and reputation never results in lost revenue....


    Of all the photos of fakes I've run across, this one posted by Neuron over in the Cold Steel forums bothers me the most.

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    This poor guy went off to war carrying what definitely appears to be a counterfeit Cold Steel Magnum Tanto IX. I sure hope his life never depended on that blade!

    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
    RatbikeJim likes this.
  10. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    [More counterfeits, continued from post #1.]


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    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  11. DShiflet

    DShiflet

    Jan 25, 2013
    I hate to get all weapons historian on you, but you're kinda overlooking the tiny fact that LaGana didn't call his design the LaGana Tomahawk, he called it the Vietnam Tomahawk. Then later upon resurrecting the design with LaGana's approval(something CS didn't get, BTW), the modern version(with polymer handle) was called the Vietnam Tactical Tomahawk(or VTAC). Cold Steel didn't even create that name bro, they copied it directly from LaGana, just like they copied the design. So no, again, UC is not ripping off Cold Steel, they are ripping off Peter LaGana, and if that bothers you so much, maybe you you should be calling out good ol' Lynn Thompson, seeing as how Cold Steel did the exact same thing. UC even states their design is copy of the tomahawk issued to US military forces in Vietnam. Know what tomahawk that was? It was the Vietnam Tomahawk, the name it was given by Peter LaGana.

    And that Condor knife in the picture? It's actually based on the knife used by the Matagi bear hunters of Japan, which features a similar blade shape, as well as a socket handle meant to attach to a pole(similar designs have been in use for hundreds of years, Cold Steel can't take credit for that). That's why the knife is actually called the "Matagi". Considering Condor's knife is designed by Joe Flowers, who posts over on the main forums here, and who has been all over the world, I think it's safe to say Condor's description is indeed accurate, and that Joe wasn't copying Cold Steel, he was copying a traditional bear hunting weapon.
     
  12. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    Prisco and Branton restarted ATC in January 2001. Cold Steel's Vietnam Tomahawk was already in the catalog by 1993 (it was on the cover of the 1993 Special Projects catalog; the 1989-1992 online archives are incomplete, and I don't recall the year in which it was introduced). Cold Steel's Vietnam Tomahawk preceded the VTAC by at least eight years. To the best of my knowledge, Cold Steel was the first company to reproduce the LaGana tomahawk design since the original ATC went under after the Vietnam War.

    The earliest references I can find for United Cutlery's Vietnam Tomahawk are from around 2009-2010, at least sixteen years after Cold Steel's introduction of its tomahawk. Here is United's description of UC2603:

    "Authentic replica of military spec tomahawk issued to U.S. troops during the Vietnam War. This item features 440 stainless steel construction axe head and bit pick. The handle is crafted from impact resistant hardwood. This item includes an imitation leather snap sheath. 7 1/2" blade. 12 5/8" overall."

    I don't see any credit given to Peter LaGana or his American Tomahawk Company. I also don't have any idea what "authentic" is supposed to mean in this context. As far I can tell, it means absolutely nothing.

    As for the Matagi, Condor rolled out that model in, what, 2013? Cold Steel introduced the Bushman in 1995. Rationalize about Japanese bear hunting all you like. The fact of the matter is that Cold Steel sets trends in the cutlery world that lots of other companies and makers follow, most without ever crediting Cold Steel. Cold Steel always gives attribution for its designs, both internal and external.

    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  13. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    [Continued from post #1]

    Finally, what about some old-fashioned intellectual property theft?

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    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  14. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    I asked about the Ultra Lock Ak47's...

    I notice you took down the aluminum handled one-- it looked legit to me...

    Now what's counterfeit about the G10 handled UltraLock AK? I own 2 of them, both purchased from a B&M authorized CS dealer and they look identical to your pics besides the pivot being backwards to mine <is that it?>...:confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  15. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm

    Feb 25, 2014
    Obviously your mind is made up that CS is carrying the torch for the future of knifemaking. They talk a good game, they do some attributions and collaborations, but they follow trends the same way as everybody else--or else they never would have started making double-edged blades and karambits. They initially produced articles on why both kinds of products are inferior to the CS option until said models were introduced to their lineup. Times change, companies change. You want to be the Cold Steel cheerleader, fine, but telling people to "rationalize all they want" is the left-hand path to saying "you are wrong and an idiot." The only thing I can agree with you on is that fakes are bad. Can't argue with a closed mind, toodles.
     
  16. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    Sorry, Petey, I thought you were only asking about the aluminum version, which was legitimate. Your observation of the pivot pin on the G-10 version is exactly what first caught my eye. I have seen only one other photo (from a Blade Forum member, linked below) of a genuine G-10 AK-47 with that pivot orientation, though certainly some might have been reversed accidentally at the factory. But the second indicator is the box color. Cold Steel never produced a gray box.

    I don't want to confuse the issue by putting photos of genuine knives in this thread, so here's a link to a picture of what is presumably a legitimate AK with box. Compare for yourself and see what you think.

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/866527-Cold-Steel-Spyderco-Ontario-Boker-Meyerco


    -Steve
     
  17. Riley12

    Riley12

    935
    Jun 26, 2013
    The socket handle on the Condor Matagi are oval and not round like the cold steel. Socket handle knives have been around a while, coconut machetes from Malaysia and the Philippines have socket handles.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. The Whip

    The Whip

    671
    Jan 28, 2007
    Actually, my mind is made up about Cold Steel having set new standards and blazed new trails in the knife industry over the past thirty-six years, because I observed that history with my own eyes. The fact that Cold Steel continues to pioneer in the fields of knife design, engineering, and performance is something that anyone may see.

    I never said that Cold Steel doesn't follow market trends, and I'm certainly aware of the examples you offer. That said, Cold Steel generally leads rather than follows because they aren't afraid to make knives that other companies won't (at least not until after Cold Steel has already broken the new ground and proven a product's viability).

    [sigh] I don't. I truly don't. I wouldn't mind it if a few more actual proponents of Cold Steel contributed to these threads, though (you know, in the Cold Steel subforum and all). I get awfully tired of reading the same detractors saying the same things over and over, trying to start arguments and/or refusing to acknowledge in any way the contributions that Cold Steel has made to the knife community.

    No, it's not. DShiflet is welcome to try to convince me that Joe Flowers came up with the idea for the Matagi out-of-the-blue based on historical examples of Japanese bear-hunting spears if he likes. But because I can see with my own eyes the similarities between the Matagi and the Bushman, I'm not likely to believe him. Was Joe Flowers, who has been active in the knife community for years, oblivious to the existence of the Bushman for the eighteen years it was sold by Cold Steel prior to the release of the Matagi?

    That wasn't my point. But OK, I'll concede.

    You're right, I can't argue with a person with a closed mind. Maybe eventually you'll realize that Cold Steel is a company comprised of a lot of good people trying to put out a lot of good products. That the head of the company tries to keep those people employed by protecting the company's interests within the knife industry at large should not be held against him.

    -Steve

    P.S. - Let's not lose focus, shall we?

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  19. M31943

    M31943

    143
    Aug 19, 2013
    Well said.
     
  20. DShiflet

    DShiflet

    Jan 25, 2013
    Yes, Cold Steel's Vietnam Tomahawk came out in 1993...2 decades after the original Vietnam Tomahawk was released, a design they blatantly and openly copied, without giving LaGana a CENT. Then UC came along and copied LaGana's design too, EXACTLY LIKE COLD STEEL did. Since Cold Steel's design is, by their own admittance, a straight up rip off of LaGana's design, why do you try to argue that UC is ripping off Cold Steel, instead of ripping off the person Cold Steel ripped off first? I mean, UC even admits they're ripping LaGana's design off, since LaGana's Vietnam Tomahawk was the "military spec tomahawk issued to U.S. troops during the Vietnam War"? Why oh why are you so insistent they're ripping off Cold Steel when by their own admittance they're ripping off Peter LaGana(same as Cold Steel did). And why is it wrong of them to do it, but you have no problem with Cold Steel doing it, while we're on the subject.

    And yes, Condor's design came out in 2013, based on a traditional weapon of the Matagi people. Just because Cold Steel inadvertantly made a similar knife earlier doesn't mean Condor is copying Cold Steel, especially considering the designer's well established interest in outdoor survival and living around the world. And, again, sorry bro, but socket handles have been around for literally hundreds of years, they're very common throughout SE Asia(which, you might notice, is where MANY of Condor's designs originated from), Thailand, and, yes, among the Matagi of Japan. Cold Steel didn't come up with that "trend" in any way, shape, or form, and trying to argue otherwise frankly just makes you look like a blind fanboy. I actually thought you were smarter than that.
     

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