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Thread: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, citing

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, citing

    Read about it here, on Guitar.com.

    From the sub-headline:

    "Gibson claims the headstock shape trademark, for which Collings filed last year, will “impair the distinctiveness” of three of its own trademarks."

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    There were bowlbacks using the open book headstock shape before Gibson was incorporated. This is ludicrous.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Another day, another litigious action from Gibson.....what would happen if they put all this energy into building quality guitars???

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    For posteriority here's the headstock profiles under discussion. Collings on the left.

    As Mike says, the one on the far right... the "open book" headstock....was closely associated with Vinaccia mandolins and from there to their many descendants in Italy and the US...Vega in particular.


    Mick
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    The Collings design is asymmetrical—that alone makes it different. I've seen it referred to as the "haircut" headstock, which is exactly what it looks like. Gibson needs a few less lawyers on the payroll.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    "I'm soooo confused!" "I bought this guitar thinking it was a Gibson, but now I find out it's a Collings!" "I guess I should have read what was on the headstock, instead of going by the shape."


    When is THAT ever going to happen?
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    You know, the day that Ares Management decides that it is no longer to their advantage to keep Guitar Center alive as a tax write-off, Gibson's goose will be cooked.

    Not that it matters to Gibson, but I will not buy a new Gibson product of any sort while the company retains its present ownership and management. While they do not need any income from poor little me to stay in business, neither do I need anything that they make to stay in business.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    I hope somebody at Gibson understands how embarrassing this is becoming. The Collings headstock is intentionally asymmetric in part to establish their own brand identity and distinguish their product *from* Gibson's or anyone else's.

    There's no danger of mistaking a Collings mandolin or guitar for a Gibson, because Collings has their own brand to protect and is deliberately avoiding the confusion between their products and those of other builders. That's the entire point of trying to register their headstock shape as a distinct trademark in the first place.

    I'd like to say "Enjoy!" but honestly it's hard to enjoy this silliness. I agree wholeheartedly with Shaun above - Gibson could do much better by putting their energy into making guitars rather than making legal hassles for others.

    Jeez...
    Gavin Baird F4 & F5, Weber Octar, Gibson K-1, Guild D50, Martin D35, Yairi DY-84, etc...

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Mind-boggling. The headstocks in question don't look anything at all alike.

    Why doesn't Gibson just trademark the whole 8-string idea while they're at it, make everyone else go 7-string or 9-string unless they pay fees to Gibson for permission to build an 8-string instrument. Gibson has shown that just because someone else did it first, doesn't mean that Gibson can't still trademark it as their own and prevent use by others. I mean we wouldn't want customers to get confused as to whether they had a Gibson or some other brand.

    Heck Gibson should just trademark the concept of audio frequencies. All audio frequencies produced by any Gibson that was ever built and all Gibsons that may be built in the future, those entire frequency spectrums would be prohibited from use by any other musical instrument manufacturer without a licensing arrangement with Gibson.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    This is just part of the process in licensing a trademark. I’d have been surprised if they didn’t contest it, or any application from any other builders. It just seems to be their MO. However, I’m not sure that their management has a really well-thought out plan for the survival of their business. They lost plenty of copyright and trademark property under Henry when they defaulted on loans to various lenders, and they’ve never gone back to reclaim them.

    Perhaps they should be spending less money on legal fees and more on quality control and research and development. There’s more to business than trying to control your market through legal gymnastics.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Like Mike E, I taped my mandolin to hide “The Gibson”. Maybe that’s not enough....

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    So Gibson are concerned they may be mistaken for a superior product?


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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Ugh.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    This shouldn't even be a case but it will be. If you have eyes, you can see it is distinctly different!

    Jamie
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Quote Originally Posted by JEStanek View Post
    This shouldn't even be a case but it will be. If you have eyes, you can see it is distinctly different!

    Jamie
    Could be an issue
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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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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    I wonder how much longer the company will survive under the current leadership. They don't play well with others. Their dealership policies are no better than they were under the previous management, and they are not attracting many new dealers. The market for new electric guitars has decreased. Their marketing policies seem to be centered around pop "icons" whose names are of limited interest to younger buyers. Their legal policies are not helping their public relations. Contrary to their public statements, they are not developing a spirit of co-existence and cooperation with the rest of the industry.

    In short, little has changed since before the bankruptcy, except for the closing of the Memphis plant and the construction of a new corporate office.

    "New boss, same as the old boss."

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Their company is really a piece of work. I just contacted them a few days ago to see if they could supply a bridge for a Gibson Hummingbird that I have to work on. The email I got back was kind of "snarky". They could do the work but wouldn't assist. Fine. I'll make a new bridge. Their general tone wasn't at all cordial.

  27. #18
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    I'm surprised they didn't send you to Stew-Mac or All Parts. Over the years when I have been looking for parts from them I usually got that as an answer.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Dale, they are not smart enough to realize that they just lost a sale.

    That sale would have covered the better part of a day's wages for one of their floor workers.
    And the potential loss of future income from a spurned customer.

    A brilliant way to keep the bills paid.

    Anyway, a Hummingbird bridge will be easy to make, and that way you get paid for the work rather than sending money to Gibson.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-15-2020 at 1:50pm.

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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    This is what happens when people have more money than brains.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    This is not a company that is interested in making anything, this is simply a soulless corporate husk trading on a purchased name.




    Owning a brand name like this and trading on successes over 100 years old is absurd to me. Equally strange to me is how some people truly put weight in that name knowing the stories of who bought the trademarks, where production was moved, how all the people changed so many times etc etc.


    Do they even make more than a handful of mandolins a year now?
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    "Do they make more than a handful of mandolins now?"
    No. And they don't even list mandolins as an available product on their website.

    Intentional thread drift: Marty, if you haven't already tried it, the Micro-plane 2" rotary cutter can be chucked up in a drill press with a fence for thicknessing a bridge blank and cutting the wings. It works much faster than a drum sanding wheel. Take light passes, and then you can use a drum sanding wheel just to take out the tool marks. It's a real time saver and well worth the $15.

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    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Goliath getting his ass kicked by little David...then crying about it by bullying....instead of nutting up and trying to build better stuff. Totally misdirected energy and speaks volumes about their priorities.

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    Registered User Strabo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    I have a 1922 A Junior that i respect very much. I am disappointed by the behavior of the current Gibson people.

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  37. #25
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    Default Re: Gibson opposes Collings' headstock trademark registration, ci

    Wonder what the luthiers and other craftspeople at Gibson, the heart of the company, think about all this.

    BTW Gibson, as you take all these naps and during your episodes of delirium a whole bunch of really good alternatives have come along over the last couple of decades.

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