The lawsuit that was brought by Colt against AWA was not for patent infringement, it was for violation of "trade dress", and focused on the rampant colt logo on the grips and the "Peacekeeper" name, which had already been used on a Colt revolver.
The AWA's were made by Armi San Marco in Italy, and many of the Peacekeepers were actually color casehardened by Doug Turnbull. Their colors do not take a backseat to anybody. I own 3 Colt SAA's, 2 AWA Peacekeepers and one USFA. The USFA is nickel finish. The colors on the Peacekeepers are every bit as good, if not better, than the Colts.
The Peacekeepers are very good shooters, but my two in .357 came with impossibly high front sights. I had to file them down quite a bit to bring them into zero. But they are really nice revolvers at less than half the price of a Colt.
In this photo, the Colts are on the left and the two on bottom right are the AWA's.