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Thread: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

  1. #126

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Looks like the Gibson Vs. Dean Guitars lawsuit broke today:

    They are accusing Dean's parent company, Armadillo Distribution Enterprises, of trademark counterfeiting, 7 counts. Gibson can pursue up to $2 million for each count, $14mm total.

    https://guitar.com/news/industry-new...-infringement/
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  2. #127

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R View Post
    Looks like the Gibson Vs. Dean Guitars lawsuit broke today:

    They are accusing Dean's parent company, Armadillo Distribution Enterprises, of trademark counterfeiting, 7 counts. Gibson can pursue up to $2 million for each count, $14mm total.

    https://guitar.com/news/industry-new...-infringement/
    Two posts up.

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  4. #128

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Well--I was reading through for info on Dean before I posted, yours didn't mention dean. Sorry about that
    Scott R.
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  5. #129
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Weird they would go after flying V's and Explorers. How much of a market is there for those these days?

  6. #130
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    The details of the filing are equally interesting. Rather than only accusing Armadillo of infringing trademarks, the filing accuses it of Trademark Counterfeiting in effect accusing Armadillo of trying to deceive or mislead the public into thinking that the guitars made by Dean and Luna are in fact Gibsons, or have some connection to Gibson.
    https://guitar.com/news/industry-new...-infringement/

    This paragraph made me laugh. I don't think ANYONE who has ever thought about purchasing a Dean guitar (V or Z) has ever said to themselves, "I'll get that Gibson."

    Equally, no one who has ever seen my Gary Vessel mandolin has ever confused it with a Gibson.

    Daniel

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  8. #131
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    If they win the Flying-V argument based on that far-fetched similarity, Grumman and Boeing are next on their list...
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  9. #132
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Builders may avoid the conflict by modifying proportions.
    I am taking that back. The Dean lawsuit demonstrates that it would not stop them.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  10. #133
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    If they win the Flying-V argument based on that far-fetched similarity, Grumman and Boeing are next on their list...
    Libraries, too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #134
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Summer NAMM should be interesting.

  12. #135
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Regarding the Dean headstock, they look exactly alike if you're a total moron and on mind altering drugs.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  14. #136
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    http://www.ladbible.com/news/news-fl...-fuel-20190603


    I wonder if they know about this?

  15. #137

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Best thing to do is don’t buy Gibson products.

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  17. #138
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Then there's this headstock shape, purportedly a 1905 model. They should have never prevailed on the open book design in the first place. It was already in use many decades before they adopted it.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  19. #139
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sanderson View Post
    If you won't tell them, I won't.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  21. #140
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancient View Post
    Best thing to do is don’t buy Gibson products.
    Another good thing might be to buy instruments from those "counterfeiters", because they're going to need the money. Telling Gibson's management that you need to play an instrument to be able to understand musicians, i.e. those customers you depend on.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  22. #141
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Another good thing might be to buy instruments from those "counterfeiters", because they're going to need the money. Telling Gibson's management that you need to play an instrument to be able to understand musicians, i.e. those customers you depend on.
    So you support counterfeiting ?

  23. #142
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    There’s no counterfeiting going on here.

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  25. #143
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Some MC readers would do well to recall the definition of counterfeit:

    1) made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.
    2)
    a fraudulent imitation of something else; a forgery.

    The purpose of a counterfeit is to deceive. There is no counterfeiting whatsoever involved in an F5 mandolin that carries a headstock inlay prominently displaying name of its maker, and which says something other than "Gibson:" Collings, Weber, Gilchrist, Nugget, Northfield, etc., "F5" models are not counterfeits. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    As we have heard, Gibson was able to obtain some highly questionable trademarks for its fern and flowerpot inlays on an F5-style headstock, despite the long history of dilution of these patterns in the free marketplace (by others) and the 3-year limitation. The USPTO is not infallible, however, and it makes mistakes all the time. The granting of these trademarks does not necessarily mean that they are valid, because they have yet to be tested in a court of law. My own feeling is that they would never stand up in court, if properly challenged.

    That said, it costs a lot of money to go to court, and that leaves Gibson's lawyers free to try to extract (and some might say "extort") monies from other mandolin makers, regardless of whether their trademarks are valid or not. It's often less costly to pay up than to defend against a lawsuit, and this is often a business decision that does not necessarily reflect the merits of the case.

    But in my book, Gibson does not have the moral high ground, here. What they're now doing is shameful, IMO.

    If they want to make more money for their stockholders, let them make and sell a better product, and not try to rest on their laurels from the 1920's, by seeking to wring a bit of extra cash from their competitors!
    Last edited by sblock; Jun-20-2019 at 12:53pm.

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  27. #144

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Praise publicly.
    Threaten privately.

  28. #145
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    So you support counterfeiting ?
    no, that's why I put the word in quotes. They are not really counterfeiters. But they're practically accused of being that.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  30. #146
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I've written and deleted without posting at least three posts already in this thread. Maybe this one will stick.

    Any big company that spends this much on lawsuits and general alienation of their customer base is heading for failure.

    Spend the money on improving product, lowering prices to a reasonable level, and support the efforts of dedicated human talent (which is to say, production employees). Failure to address the issues in question for over a hundred years and then scrambling to recover ground lost to those who have actually improved on the original products is both missing the boat, and possibly drowning in its wake.

    I have a bunch of Gibson products, from 1915 to about 1968, and I enjoy them immensely. I can't say much for the stuff they've produced since 1970, as I've not been attracted to them, nor do I need them, as the older stuff covers my needs and wants.

    It would be sad to see the company go into the tank again, but thankfully their legacy is still around. They made tons of good stuff, and much of it is readily available. The burden of loss will fall on the shoulders of their current employees, who are not to blame for the company's problems.

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  32. #147

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    No matter which side of this issue you think is right, I think there's a couple points we need to consider before drawing to many conclusions.

    Let's consider, does Gibson own this IP and these Trademarks legally? If yes, no matter how we feel, they have the right to defend those, even if it means taking a nice person to court. Gibson is an iconic brand and in the past have been very innovative. We at least owe them the benefit of the doubt while this gets sorted out legally. Just my opinion.

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  34. #148

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Simmer down mando peeps. While Gibson isn't doing their brand any favors with these actions, I am heavily tied to the music legal industry, and I can tell you with 300% confidence that there is NO TEETH behind these threats. This happens all the time in business. People leave jobs with non-competes and get threatening letters. People use the same 3 chords of a Beatles song, and get letters. People make a similar logo and get these letters. If there was any substance behind Gibson's claim, they would simply take them to court, period. Also, these are not the actions of the front line luthiers who build for Gibson, it's their management. Don't hate the whole company, they have made, and continue to make some of the best guitars and mandos out there. If you really want to have an impact on something like this, let artists who are sponsored by Gibson or who play a lot of Gibsons know, and they can help shut them up.

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  36. #149
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    No matter which side of this issue you think is right, I think there's a couple points we need to consider before drawing to many conclusions.

    Let's consider, does Gibson own this IP and these Trademarks legally? If yes, no matter how we feel, they have the right to defend those, even if it means taking a nice person to court. Gibson is an iconic brand and in the past have been very innovative. We at least owe them the benefit of the doubt while this gets sorted out legally. Just my opinion.
    Two points here that you seem to be missing:

    1) Just because the USPTO granted a trademark to Gibson does not make it "legal," in the restricted sense that the trademark is somehow valid and binding. Existing patents and trademarks can be ruled invalid (in part or in whole) by the courts for various reasons -- and they frequently are. These disputes are commonplace, in fact, and it is not correct to assume that simply because Gibson managed to get something trademarked, it is legitimate IP and will stand up against a challenge. In short, we do not "owe them the benefit of the the doubt." No way.

    2) Does Gibson have a right to defend its IP? Well, of course they do! Every person or corporate entity has the right to defend their patent or trademark. But no one here on the MC, to my knowledge, has claimed that they don't have this right, so you seem to have missed the point altogether, by complaining about something that doesn't exist!! Instead, some of us are questioning the wisdom of taking this tack -- not the legal right! In my view, what Gibson is doing is highly inadvisable, because it spreads ill will throughout the luthier (and player) community, it stands to negatively impact the (small) mandolin market, it offers comparatively little in the way of a short-term monetary gain for them (and zero in the long run), and it does nothing whatsoever to make Gibson-made mandolins more competitive. It is a shameful and short-sighted act, in my opinion, and one that may well backfire.

    So NO, we do not owe Gibson any sympathy when it takes "a nice person to court," as you wrote.

  37. #150

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    This has been going on for several months now and we were content with keeping under wraps what we knew...
    Why?

    So odd what the Cafe thinks it needs to protect us from.

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