Rather shocking news is being reported in the Russian media today that all production at the Russian military arms plant "Izhmash" has stopped. Izhmash produces over 70 different types of weapons including the AK-47, AK-74 and SVD rifles.
The company claims that unlicensed copies of Russian military arms by countries such a Bulgaria, China and others has lead to the current financial crisis. Izhmash has found itself embattled in endless lawsuits trying to enforce patents on its designs.
It's kind of ironic, in a sad way, that historically the Russians and former Soviet Union ignored patents held by companies outside of Russia. Now, in a strange twist of fate, we see an iconic Russian arms company falling prey to pirating of its own intellectual property.
I hope that someone else steps in to bail the company out and production resumes. If not, Russian made AK's on the U.S. market are destine to jump in price as supplies dry up.
The Russian media is reporting that financial aid has been given to Izhmash and that the risk of bankruptcy is now not an issue. Let's hope their financial troubles improve and they're able to continue operations.