An advertisement from a major retailer recently caught my eye. The ad was for an AR built by "Evolve Weapons Systems". The logo and name made me do a double take as it's strikingly similar to Primary Weapons Systems which has the tagline, "Evolve". This other company at casual glance looks like a subline of PWS. Researching further I found this other company doesn't even use a piston system, just the appearance of being an evolved AR product. An easy mistake for an unwary consumer as PWS's own rifles hide their advancements well in a conventional AR form.
With the market explosion experienced over the last couple of years it's not surprising to see brands you may not have before. New companies have started up and others have grown. Few AR brands are much more than a brand as most of their components come from one of the relatively few actual manufacturers. Some brands pay to have things made to their specifications, others not, then they slap their label on it and call it their own. This is the normal reality of the AR world just as it is with laptops and phones. The quality of assembly, or components chosen, makes the difference between AR brand A and brand B. With such a high substitution rate, consumer confusion is mostly harmless, but Primary Weapons Systems does not make regular ARs.
It gets dangerous for the consumer when two companies appear to be the same. This can happen naturally in a crowded market, just try to think up a gun name you think is unique, search for it, and chances are the name is already taken. Some accidents happen, that's when it's up to the lawyers to decide is likeness is being used. Evolve Weapons Systems has a lot of similarities in branding to Primary Weapons Systems that likely could have been avoided.
What's not ok is attempting to build a brand by taking the likeness of another. Few can truly imitate an innovative company like Primary Weapons Systems, as we've shown in articles and videos PWS truly is an evolution of the AR platform, using their own piston system and parts engineered and produced themselves.
While the Evolve Weapons Systems products are likely just as good as any other AR build, they are not Primary Weapons Systems. Do your research and pay attention. You may find brands like, "Arrow Precision", "LMC", "TripleStar", or see YouTube video about "PCM". Just be smart enough to know that those are not Aero Precision, LMT, DoubleStar, or BCM.
If you are one who fell for this trap I'm sorry to say that while Primary Weapons Systems has excellent customer service, a warranty claim on a product they didn't produce will not go far.
While not as close as the Guess Vs Gucci issue, (I don't see a true material value difference between the shoes pictured) it is a reminder of how one company can be dangerously similar in outward appearance to another, and in the AR world that can cause confusion among unwitting consumers. It would be like someone looking for Dr. Pepper and being sold Mr. Pibb decaf.