Not much is known by now, except what's stated by the KRISS Arms Group in a press release on their own website, which announces the termination of its exclusive trademark licensing with KWA. The announcement went public yesterday, and marks the end of a cooperation between the two companies that lasted barely one year.
KRISS Arms, the Swiss global leader in firearms innovation, announces the termination of its exclusive trademark licensing with KWA. This termination affects all current and future KRISS airsoft projects, including the popular KRISS Vector SMG GBB and upcoming AEG version.
KRISS Arms will also be actively pursuing any infringements of its patents and trademarks worldwide, including unauthorized manufacturing and distribution of KRISS product replicas.
As part of its strong commitment and support to the Milsim and professional training community, KRISS Arms will be seeking for new innovative partners in the airsoft industry to market its current and upcoming airsoft products.
Headquartered in Nyon (Switzerland), KRISS Arms Group S.A. delivers proprietary technologies to the firearms industry enabling more efficient solutions, corresponding to the 21st century requirements for the global law enforcement, military and civilian markets. KRISS has production and operations in Switzerland, as well as in Virginia Beach (Virginia, USA), where it manufactures the Super-V family of recoil-vectoring firearms, including the KRISS Vector-SMG sub-machinegun, the Vector CRB/SO and SBR/SO semi-automatic carbines and the Vector-SDP semi-automatic pistol, all chambered in .45 ACP, although further variants with modular and caliber-change capabilities are announced for the near future. The KRISS Arms Group also owns Sphinx Systems S.A., a well-known manufacturer of sporting, service and defense-oriented semi-automatic pistols manufactured with the best materials and technologies available and following the strictest criteria of Swiss quality; and the Defiance brand of silencers and sound suppressors for military and Police uses.
KWA Performance Industries Inc. is headquartered in City of Industry (California, USA) and has manufacturing capabilities in Asia; it is firmly established as one of the world's leading companies in Airsoft and MilSim, producing and marketing high-quality replicas aimed to competitive skirmishers and to professional operators (military, law enforcement, PMCs, professional security) for basic handling and Force-On-Force training. KWA first struck a deal with KRISS Arms for the manufacture of licensed Airsoft variants in 2012, and showcased the first prototypes of the Vector-SMG gas blowback replica at the 2012 IWA expo in Nuremberg (Germany); this year, the two companies had their booths side-by-side, although the KWA exhibition space was much smaller than it was just one year ago; nonetheless, this year the company announced the imminent launch of another KRISS Vector-SMG replica − an AEG electrically-powered version this time − as well as of a series of gas blowback and CO² powered Airsoft replicas of the Sphinx Systems SDP pistols line. The termination of the agreement affects all current and future KRISS Airsoft projects, including the popular KRISS Vector-SMG GBB and upcoming AEG version, not to mention the aforementioned Sphinx SDP. KWA may be forced to stop the production and distribution of the KRISS GBB, which became an instant hit on the market since it was launched.
Details of the events that led to the termination of the contract are not known, yet it's unlikely to have been any friendly, as KRISS Arms states its commitment to actively pursue the unauthorized manufacturing and distribution of KRISS-based replicas as patent and trademark infringment. These are not the first bad news for KWA Performance Industries in the past months; recently the company has been struggling to deliver the requested quantities of products, as the market demand overwhelmed their manufacturing capabilities and the capabilities of their suppliers to provide parts and materials. Furthermore, a few months ago, another company that was historically tied to KWA, this being MagPul PTS, decided not to completely sever their agreements but to "go partially independent" by establishing their own production lines; up until then, most, if not all, of MagPul PTS' Airsoft replicas were totally manufactured by KWA itself.
Hopes are that the KRISS Arms' declared commitment to the MilSim and Airsoft market is as true as it's stated, and that talks to reach an agreement for replica licensing with other industry partners may come to a happy ending as soon as possible, to let the market enjoy KRISS and Sphinx -based high-quality Airsoft replicas again.