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  1. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Big tech will only enforce a trademark or copyright if it is brought to their attention, plus Leica is/was a German company AFAIK and trademark law is country specific. I bought a Russian-made Zenit...
  2. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    And I think Gibson's current moves to licensing deals leaves that door open for Dean and could settle the issue for now.

    While I tend to agree a valid argument can be made that the Stratocaster...
  3. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Thanks for keeping me honest with the details Jim.

    Guitars makers suffered Japanese cloning in the 60s (prior to that builders respected each others IP). That lead to a major changes in the...
  4. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    IP laws are a relatively recent development, historically speaking. Copyright came about after the Gutenberg to determine who had the rights to use printing presses to make copies - that was the...
  5. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Not sure this is fair. As I stated above I'm like a judge coming cold to this case. I don't know the parties or the history and am relying on responses to provide the necessary context. These matters...
  6. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I don't believe there is any requisite to register your trademarks. There are benefits to registration, but [theoretically] use in common-law is just as valid in law.

    AFAIK the Lanham Act...
  7. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    IIRC Fender lost its claims to the stratocaster body shape last go around and it's now technically considered "generic." If that's so, Gibson [and everyone else] is well within their rights to make...
  8. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Then there the story according to Les Paul:

    https://www.vintageguitar.com/2908/les-paul/

    I wasn't there and it doesn't matter to me, but I'd give Les Paul's account a bit more weight.
  9. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    My FM "Black Noise" album has a 1978 copyright date on it meaning Nash the Slash was using the "Slash" name and top hat "in commerce" since at least that date - probably earlier if they were gigging...
  10. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Here's what I can find on Vintage Guitar - it talks about what was going on from Les Paul's POV.

    https://www.vintageguitar.com/2908/les-paul/

    Here's one on the SG Les Paul - (I must have...
  11. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    There was an article in Vintage Guitar magazine a few years back discussing the evolution of the Les Paul. It stated very clearly that the first guitar Gibson presented to Les Paul for consideration...
  12. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I was in radio at the time FM hit the scene. Those were the early days of FM radio (in stereo) that had a unique university audience that wasn't confined to local demographics like AM was. They were...
  13. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I think between the "top hat" and the "slash" moniker Nash would have had a valid argument. The name alone, maybe. Copping both the hat and the name is more than a little stinky.
  14. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    To my eye I would consider the "Appleton" design derivative of Gibson's L5 and other archtop's with a Venetian cutaway that had been around for many years prior to 1943. Rickenbacker had already...
  15. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    The differences between that and a Gibson Les Paul are significant enough that I don't see a conflict.

    By the same token, Leo Fender ripped off Paul Bigsby's headstock design, bolt-on neck and...
  16. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    The trademark litmus test is "use in commerce." Since Slash, who ripped Nash the Slash's trade-dress, wasn't selling the guitars he wouldn't run foul of the legal stuff.

    Zappa also played a...
  17. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    That is going to have to wait to see what Gibson files. For all we know Gibson and Dean lawyers may have been exchanging threats for years. That's certainly something Dean wouldn't disclose.
    ...
  18. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    You are correct. I'm here as an "outsider" as I am not as familiar with this legacy as most here and am trying to understand the thinking.

    In some ways I'm in the same spot a judge would be who...
  19. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    And this is what I'm saying. There seems to be a predetermination that Gibson is guilty prior to examining Gibson's evidence as to their business practices.

    All I know is that Gibson appears to...
  20. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    The line is drawn under US trademark law when there is a "likelihood of confusion" between the products. In your case it would be difficult to argue confusion and I doubt Gibson would consider this a...
  21. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I've designed, branded, launched and marketed successful MI products and think I understand the market to some extent. For the most part the market is really really really conservative and still...
  22. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I'm with you as a consumer of this type of product. I want to get the best value for my dollar and that often precludes products with a premium price-point. Gibson makes no bones about the fact that...
  23. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    At the end of the day everybody acknowledges that Gibson created the "violin-style" mandolin and adorned it with their unique headstock and scrolls that has made the F5 (and variants) so visually...
  24. Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    There's a special place in heck for trademark lawyers.
  25. Replies
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    Re: Your First Upgrade

    Started on a "mandolin shaped object." Musician's Friend was blowing out Johnson F-style (bad plywood build - Savanah's are rebranded Johnsons) with a dura-foam case for $87. The case was worth that...
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