A friend in Europe sent me a translation of a story running there:
American musical instrument maker Gibson's most classic mandolin design is under threat today after a court case in Florence sought to deny the company's right to employ the 'Florentine' scroll design. Instantly popular upon its introduction nearly ninety years ago under the stewardship of the famous Gibson designer, Lloyd Loar, the so-called Florentine Scroll that is emblematic of the Lloyd Loar F5 design was said in court today to infringe a trademark registered in Florence in 1854.
After lodging the complaint on behalf of a client who wishes to remain anonymous, legal counsel Filar Polos made this short statement to the waiting press:
"My client has taken action to protect the due rights and design heritage of the wonderful city of Florence, in particular with regard to the shameless acquisition of the Florentine identity by designers at Gibson USA almost ninety years ago. The good name of Florence has been smeared by its association with low-grade popular music made in America, in particular the Blue Grass music of a Mr William Munroe. The great musical city of Florence, a world-famous musical capital whose fame in the musical arts dates back to the Middle Ages, does not wish to be associated with mass market music. Denying Gibson's right to go on stealing and maligning our good name is only the beginning of a series of lawsuits intending to be pursued by my client."
A spokesperson for Gibson, Ms Avril D'olt, said she was unable to comment on the matter until urgent talks with her company's legal advisers were completed.