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Gibson getting agressive over copyright / patent

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Haven't they already settled with Heritage?  Would be hard to reopen the issue again IMO.  Maybe that's why whey went with Dean.  They don't have a case against Heritage or PRS since there is already history there.

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Interesting read.  Especially at the end:

© 2019 Guitar.com is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies.

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I'd say it's doubtful that Heritage has anything to worry about here but who really knows what the details of those initial "agreements" looked like?

Gibson's new leadership may view the recent regime change at Heritage as the end of the line for any kind of grandfathered leaniency towards the use of their iconic designs.

Quite frankly, If I owned Heritage I'd invite such a lawsuit knowing that the media attention alone would likely pay off ten fold. It's also worth noting that any kind of legal budget for a lawsuit with the Bandlab era Heritage vs the Golden era Heritage Company would be DRAMATICALLY different. Meng's pockets are 7 zeros deep...... It'd be foolish of Gibson not to consider that before such a move.

 

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Actually, trying to IP troll shapes of wood designed 70+ years ago is the very definition of being anti-innovation.

 

But, Mark Agnesi now gets to be a company tool. Gibson lifted the open book headstock from the public domain when they started using it, it was not their design by any stretch. When Gibson drew up the Les Paul body the most popular "solid" electric guitar in the world was the Bigsby and it's no wonder their two dimensional single cut shape is near identical to the Bigsby give/take a few millimeters here and there. 

 

If I was a lawyer I'd be happy to go to court with Gibson and show the public all the examples of old world instruments the open book headstock, and the bigsby shape, and all the other stuff they didn't invent. Gibson ALWAYS read/reacted to the market from the early A-Mandolin days to going toe to toe with Stromberg/Epiphone on archtops to conceding to build solid body guitars only because another guy was actually selling them really well up to building shredder guitars in the 80's etc etc etc etc. Always getting in a hair behind to gain market share. 

 

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I don't see this going well for Gibson. Dean has a 40 year history of making those guitar shapes, which have become "generic" for all intents and purposes. Fender tried to trademark the Strat design, and they failed. Gibson already tried to sue PRS, and they also failed.

Still, they want a JURY trial, and they may be able to convince a jury of just about anything, depending on how they word it.

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Posted (edited)

What we learned from the lawsuit against PRS, is that a person (the customer buying the guitar) must reasonably believe that they are buying a Gibson guitar when they are actually buying the other brand in question. As long as the customer is not being tricked into thinking that they are actually buying a Gibson when in fact they are buying a different brand of guitar, and the difference is blatantly obvious, there is no copyright violation. Gibson will loose that fight just as they did in 2005 with PRS.

You'd have to be extremely clueless to buy a Dean, thinking that you are buying a Gibson (presumably standing in a real store and holding it in your hands). Yet, as rare of a scenario as that would be, I'm sure there is someone out there who is capable of making that kind of a mistake. (I recently heard a story from a different category of manufactured product, one which guys are notorious for spending too much money on, where a clueless customer was about to buy one product which he confused for being something completely different.) But being that clueless about the thing that you are attempting to buy would not qualify as a "reasonable person" as I mentioned above.

Edited by HANGAR18

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I have no direct knowledge, but my theory is that Gibson is taking legal action as part of a long term strategic plan to fight the growing number of 'fake' Gibsons.  The latest action against Dean may simply be yet another guitar maker caught in Gibson's global trademark-protecting net, sending a warning to other guitar makers around the globe...especially China.

http://www.detectafake.com/viewProduct/?269612

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8 hours ago, HANGAR18 said:

You'd have to be extremely clueless to buy a Dean, thinking that you are buying a Gibson (presumably standing in a real store and holding it in your hands). Yet, as rare of a scenario as that would be, I'm sure there is someone out there who is capable of making that kind of a mistake. (I recently heard a story from a different category of manufactured product, one which guys are notorious for spending too much money on, where a clueless customer was about to buy one product which he confused for being something completely different.) But being that clueless about the thing that you are attempting to buy would not qualify as a "reasonable person" as I mentioned above.

Dang!  You mean that this ISN'T a Gibson?   You shore coulda fooled me.   I'm  gonna take it back and get my money.

Maybe I should have learnt my spellin words in third grade!

image.png.7e99945a8e7a54d1ae334d2d631d8a97.png

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21 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

Still, they want a JURY trial, and they may be able to convince a jury of just about anything, depending on how they word it.

Gibson have to survive motions for dismissal and summary judgment before they get anywhere near a jury. I'd be shocked if this case survives summary judgment.

Gibson have managed to undo a lot of their recent good PR just with an ill-considered video and lawsuit. 

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1 hour ago, pro-fusion said:

Gibson have to survive motions for dismissal and summary judgment before they get anywhere near a jury. I'd be shocked if this case survives summary judgment.

Gibson have managed to undo a lot of their recent good PR just with an ill-considered video and lawsuit. 

...and how about a cross-complaint for malicious prosecution.  Dean could demand reimbursement of their legal defense fees as well as damages to their brand. 

This could be fun to follow.

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2 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

...and how about a cross-complaint for malicious prosecution.  Dean could demand reimbursement of their legal defense fees as well as damages to their brand. 

This could be fun to follow.

I think you can be assured they are going to ask for attorney's fees.  They will probably get it too.  I don't see Gibson winning this one.  Everybody has made an explorer model.  Dean can't be singled out.

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On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 10:12 AM, deytookerjaabs said:

…...building shredder guitars in the 80's etc etc etc etc. Always getting in a hair behind to gain market share. 

 

ROTFLMAO!!!! 

I see what you did there. Absolutely well played!!! Bravo!

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So they are just getting their finances back in order after bankruptcy, and then this? Are they out of their freakin minds?

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9 minutes ago, ElNumero said:

So they are just getting their finances back in order after bankruptcy, and then this? Are they out of their freakin minds?

Could well be.  As a fan of the brand, I'm kind of disappointed that this is their focus.  

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64761987_708352172933761_344229805588427

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6 minutes ago, Vanschoyck said:

Could well be.  As a fan of the brand, I'm kind of disappointed that this is their focus.  

Yeah, seems like an utter waste of time and expense. This is 2019 not 1975

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23 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

Dang!  You mean that this ISN'T a Gibson?   You shore coulda fooled me.   I'm  gonna take it back and get my money.

Maybe I should have learnt my spellin words in third grade!

image.png.7e99945a8e7a54d1ae334d2d631d8a97.png

For some reason Rich, I thought you only made it through the second grade. Guess I was wrong!!

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On 6/21/2019 at 7:40 AM, HANGAR18 said:

You'd have to be extremely clueless to buy a Dean, thinking that you are buying a Gibson (presumably standing in a real store and holding it in your hands). Yet, as rare of a scenario as that would be, I'm sure there is someone out there who is capable of making that kind of a mistake. 

I think it's important that we not forget the MLP folks at a time like this.

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The "confusion" argument is the same as Gibson claimed against the PRS singlecut in a lawsuit years ago. They lost then and they will lose again this time.

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Now, Reverend...

c7d55fb5-4e27-4591-aaf2-5a5eba97f7a3-jpe

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If you go through some of the trademarks, there have been numerous oppositions made to some of Gibson's applications, including the "793" style (ES335) which was originally filed in 1994 under one application, then filed again in 2014 under another.   Some 16 companies file a Notice of Opposition on that one.

According to the notice, "The USPTO refused registration on the Principal Register stating that the ‘793 Body Shape “comprises the standard characteristics of an electronic guitar such as a broad based body, narrow mid-section, and overall curvilinear design.”    Additionally, they claim that by the time Gibson filed,  almost 60 years after the guitar was introduced,  the style had become "generic".

Sit back and enjoy... this could get really messy.  

 

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A company's general counsel is usually the one who is supposed to talk the executives out of doing dumb stuff like this. Either Gibson has a bad GC, or the new executives are especially dense.

Japan has historically been the main place where Gibson counterfeits have a huge market, but actual Gibsons command silly prices over there and sell really well--just search for Gibsons on eBay without filtering out Japan as an origin country.

Gibson is fighting something that isn't a significant commercial problem for them. Their problem is staring at them in the mirror.

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