American Ammo Manufacturer To Commercialize University Patents

According to an S-1 filed by AMMO, Inc. on July 6, 2018, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company will attempt to raise nearly $80 M to support its efforts to manufacture and sell ammunition brand-named “Streak.” Researchers from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette invented the technology in 2005, referred to as hybrid luminescent ammunition. Texas-based Hallam, Inc. reportedly acquired an exclusive license from the University to the technology under US Patent 8,402,896.

AMMO, meanwhile, began life in 1990 as Retrospettiva, a women’s apparel company with European operations in Macedonia. Unfortunately, the Macedonian Civil War forced the company to cease operations in 2001. It remained as a shell until 2006 when it began looking for a merger partner to resume operations as a publicly traded company. The company became AMMO, Inc. in 2016 through a merger with a newly-formed Delaware entity. In September 2017, AMMO subsidiary Ammo Technologies Inc. (“ATI”) merged with Hallam in a deal valued at nearly $1 M.

According to the filing, “[t]he primary asset of Hallam, Inc. was an exclusive license to produce projectiles and ammunition using the Hybrid Luminescence Ammunition Technology under patent U.S. 8,402,896.” ATI assumed the license from Hallam as part of the deal, which included payment of $200,000 cash and 600,000 shares of stock to Hallam’s shareholders. At the time, AMMO valued the stock at $750,000 ($1.25 / share), but according to the proposed maximum share price in the prospectus, those shares could be worth as much as $3.6 M.

The ‘896 Patent is intended to address “many of the shortcomings of energetic tracer ammunition” by using non-energetic material.  According to the patent, “non-energetic materials do not burn and have few known hazardous effects. Because the non-energetic luminescent materials do not need to be ignited by the propellant charge in the cartridge, the materials can be placed in various novel configurations on the projectiles … [and] can be produced that are uni-directional (only detectible by the shooter and not the target).” The ‘896 Patent claims:

1. A luminescent projectile comprising:

(1) a projectile body and an effective amount of photoluminescent material attached to said projectile body wherein said photoluminescent is positioned on said projectile to provide a directional luminescent light source directed substantially toward the rear of the projectile as said projectile travels downrange after being fired;

(2) wherein said photoluminescent material is positioned in a cavity at the rear of said projectile such that the observed luminescence of the projectile is substantially limited to the perspective of an observer at the rear of said projectile as said projectile travels downrange after being fired; and

(3) wherein said photoluminescent material comprises:

(a) a mixture of said photoluminescent material and binder material, said mixture being attached to said rear of said projectile, and

(b) a layer of said photoluminescent material in powder form over said mixture of luminescent material and binder material.

Additional IP rights held by AMMO include license agreements with motorcycle designer Jesse James and big game hunter Jeff Rann. AMMO holds exclusive, worldwide rights to James’ image and trademarks through October 2021, and Rann’s through February 2022. AMMO’s S-1 is still subject to completion.

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