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Thread: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

  1. #1
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    DT: MAY 27, 2022




    Gibson Wins Historic and Definitive Ruling On Its Iconic Guitar Shapes and Trademarks

    Court Ruling By Jury Asserts Validity of Gibson Trademarks -- Deems Them Not Generic -- Putting Gibson In A Position To Own Their Legacy Innovations And Be Future Focused


    The courtís decision by jury today, to uphold Gibsonís long-established and well-recognized trademarks for Gibsonís innovative and iconic guitar shapes is a win for Gibson and the music community at large. The court found that the Gibson Trademarks are valid, the Gibson shapes are not generic, and the defendants were guilty of both infringement and counterfeiting. Gibson is very pleased with the outcome after years of simply trying to protect their brand and business through well recognized intellectual property rights, rights that have been Gibsonís for decades.

    Gibsonís guitar shapes are iconic, and now are firmly protected for the past, present, and future. From a broader perspective, this court decision is also a win for Gibson Fans, Artists, Dealers, and related Partners who expect and deserve authenticity. Not to mention for all of the iconic American brands that have invested in meaningful innovation and continued protection, only to see it diluted with unauthorized and often illegitimate knockoffs. Gibson can now focus attention on continuing to leverage its iconic past, and invest in future innovation, with confidence.

    ###
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Interesting. Now how will the fallout from this case roll through the guitar world? Will Martin have to cease making the CEO models that reflect a Gibson influence? How about all of the L-00 knockoffs of all quality levels. Must they also cease production? Just a few thoughts.

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    I can find no reference to such a decision via google search.
    Can you provide a link?

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    This could go on for years and years…what a waste of time, money, and energy. Meanwhile they are churning out guitars that have cracked nuts and blems all over them. I stopped looking at new Gibsons. Just a disappointment. They seem to be addicted to drama.
    Last edited by Mandobar; May-27-2022 at 8:32pm.
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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news...pes/ar-AAXOtaE

    While I think folks 'intellectual property' deserves certain protections, this will have absolutely no impact on anything in my life.

    I also sometimes think carpenters should be paid every time you open a door they installed, it was their 'intellectual property' that got it installed. we won't talk about plumbers.

    But really, we encounter 'intellectual property' every day in products that cannot be protected for a variety of reasons, but we now see products, such as cars and certainly computers, that are redefining what it means to own something that has a patented/trademarked element contained within it. Mickey Mouse is protected but Walt is long since dead.

    A bit out of control in my view.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    OK, I found an article rather lacking in detail here: http://www.kcra.com/article/gibson-g...hapes/40130057

    The article is poorly written, but it appears to be about Gibson's suit against Dean for their use of the Flying V and Explorer electric guitar shapes.
    I suspect that it will be appealed, with the old PRS verdict cited as precedent. Somehow, I don't believe that many manufacturers are going to lose much sleep over this case tonight, not even Dean.

    I haven't looked over a Gibson that was built in the last year, but the ones that I've seen that were built shortly before the bankruptcy and ouster of Henry J. were often rather sloppily built and finished, especially for the price range. Perhaps they are addressing some of their quality issues, perhaps not.

    I find their continuing legal contortions, penchant for drama, quality issues, and childishly boastful marketing practices to be so unpalatable that I have no inclination to ever purchase even a set of strings from them again. Let 'em churn. If I ever want to purchase a new instrument, there are now a myriad of very fine instruments being made by others.

    And I'm getting really tired of the word "iconic."
    Rant over.
    Last edited by rcc56; May-27-2022 at 6:23pm.

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    This “win” for Gibson is only for their V and explorer guitar models and against Dean. Will be interesting to see if they try to go back and claim exclusivity for the early 20th century A & F mandolin shapes; a much more difficult claim to justify.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    While I think folks 'intellectual property' deserves certain protections, this will have absolutely no impact on anything in my life.

    I also sometimes think carpenters should be paid every time you open a door they installed, it was their 'intellectual property' that got it installed. we won't talk about plumbers.
    This crosses my mind whenever I think about royalties on intellectual property. Authors can get paid every time a book they wrote is sold. Top actors sometimes get a percentage of box office receipts. Musicians at the top of the food chain and even lower can be paid (a small amount) every time their song is played on the radio or downloaded.

    It appears odd that a single creative act once completed and with no further action by the creator will yield payments in perpetuity, yet when you buy a creation by a woodworker, painter, luthier, etc. you pay once and no more, regardless of how long you own or enjoy the creation. In fact, if you later sell that creation there is no remittance to the original creator. Who figures out these economic constructs?

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    sorry, i posted this and went back to work. since i work for a newspaper, i get a lot of random press releases. this one popped up shortly before i posted it - gave it a quick glance and then figured it would be of interest.

    the bottom of the email is this:

    For media enquiries regarding Gibson Brands, contact:

    PRIME PR GROUP, INC.
    Libby Coffey
    +1 626-676-4993
    LCoffey@primeprgroup.com
    --------------------------------
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Very strange, Randi. I looked up the url for that email and it is parked… no web site. I don’t know who this firm or person is or whether they have any connection to Gibsoon. Also, when I search for the article I get info from 2020 about Gibson winning cases.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    OK, Billboard is carrying the story, but I'm not a subscriber.

    The headline says: "Jurors said Dean infringed Gibson's famous guitar designs, but awarded the company just $4000 in damages."

    Aha . . . Here's a link to the actual verdict: http://www.blackpromoterscollective....guitar-shapes/
    If Gibson wants to crow over a settlement like that . . . well . . .
    Last edited by rcc56; May-28-2022 at 1:52am.

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    Default Gibson Wins Historic and Definitive Ruling Today on Its Iconic Gu

    It's all over Google.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Gibs...and+Trademarks

    But wow, that news release--if that's what it really is--appears to have been written by Gibson. That's a lop-sided one view presentation.

    Good time to let this cat out of the bag. Gibson announced to their retailers for mandolins awhile back (all what, 2-3?) that no orders are being taken until 2023 and their entire mandolin line is being retooled in order to be "more historically accurate, etc.," and that a similar process is occurring with archtop guitars like L-5s, Byrdlands, etc. New mandolin pricing will be in line by spring 2023. What should one infer from a statement of this nature? That Gibson has not been producing historically accurate copies of their own instruments?
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; May-28-2022 at 12:34pm.

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    Default Re: Gibson Wins Historic and Definitive Ruling Today on Its Iconi

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    It's all over Google.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Gibs...and+Trademarks

    But wow, that news release--if that's what it really is--appears to have been written by Gibson. That's a lop-sided one view presentation.

    Good time to let this cat out of the bag. Gibson announced to their retailers for mandolins awhile back (all what, 2-3?) that no orders are being taken until 2023 and their entire mandolin line is being retooled in order to be "more historically accurate, etc.," and that a similar process is occurring with archtop guitars like L-5s, Byrdlands, etc. New mandolin pricing will be in line by spring 2023. What should one infer from a statement of this nature? That Gibson has not been producing historically accurate copies of their own instruments?
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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    The Gibson press release about the Texas jury decision is ‘all over Google’, but articles about the case and issues presented are quite sparse. It should be noted that Gibson lost a similar case in the EU in 2019 and their ‘victory’ over PRS on similar issues (Les Paul shape) was overturned on appeal.

    I don’t think this litigation is done.

    As far as Gibson mandolin production is concerned, ‘more historically accurate’ might mean only 1922-24 models, ie, Snakehead oval holed instruments and perhaps F2, F4 and F 5 only, no F5G, etc., but who knows. Wouldn’t surprise me if they go away completely, like banjos. Think ROI.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    I'd love to see them come out with a more historically correct F-5. Seems like it would be important for them to get it right.
    Seems they would occasionally put a very good copy out like Sierra Hull's but then the majority would have that scroll you could see a mile away.

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars



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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    The Gibson press release about the Texas jury decision is Ďall over Googleí, but articles about the case and issues presented are quite sparse.
    Here's a more detailed story, with the jury questionnaire...
    https://blabbermouth.net/news/gibson...-guitar-shapes

    I used to preface my opinions with "It's my understanding of trademark law..." But the more I learned about trademark law - including some work as an expert witness - the less I understand it.

    The fact is, Gibson has been granted trademark status on certain body shapes, as well as the dove-wing headstock shape. The legitimacy of that status has been challenged in practically every case, but Gibson has prevailed (except in the EU case). Even in the PRS case, Gibson's trademark of the Les Paul body shape was maintained; the appeals court ruled that the PRS Singlecut did not infringe on it.

    The Dean case was decided by a jury. In light of the complications and contradictions of trademark law, that's a scary thought. Forum members are no doubt aware of Gibson's recent moves to gain trademark status on several elements of mandolin design. If these cases are presented to a jury, anything could happen.

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    I see where Walter is going with this.

    Note that the action against Dean includes the ES electric guitar body shape, which has been used by many others since the early 1960's; so it's not far-fetched to think that Gibson may try to claim exclusive rights to all carved mandolins and guitars. or at least the 110 year old scroll mandolin shape.

    While it can be argued that Gibson may still have legal rights to old designs that they long failed to protect in the past, I suspect that the Dean case is far from over. We'll see what happens with the appeals.

    At any rate, I'm tired of these lawsuits, and am under no obligation to support companies that aren't willing to peacefully co-exist with their colleagues.

    So I've just made up my mind. I will not buy another new Gibson product. That will include any other line they distribute, such as Epiphone, Baldwin, Wurlitzer, Kramer, and Mesa Boogie. A more complete list is available on Wikipedia.
    I'm encouraging others to do the same. Starting right now.

    It's a long shot, but it won't hurt one bit to give it a try. We don't need Gibson. We can buy our new instruments and accessories from other manufacturers.

    One person alone makes no difference, but the size of the instrument buying public is finite. So I hope some of you will join in and spread the word.
    Last edited by rcc56; May-29-2022 at 2:21am.

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Walter, your confusion is shared by many, and it has been compounded by some changes to the laws surrounding intellectual property. Some people (no names mentioned) in the State House would like to complicate things even further, but that's another topic entirely.

    Seeing as the award was probably a fraction of what Gibson spent on legal fees, their business model appears to be no different than Henry's- create chaos, and forget what we really do for a living. The first thing you learn in business school is that if the costs exceed the payback, walk away, and if they were a public company, the board would never have allowed this to proceed to court. That said, they still appear to be fixated on what everyone else is doing, not what they are doing.

    I am going to guess that Dean will appeal and win a reversal. Meanwhile, Gibson will continue to spend more money on legal activities, rather than on improving their manufacturing. It truly is a mad world, at least at Gibson.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    So a company has to decide are they patenting or copyrighting. It seems to me the shape is a design and should only be considered for patenting. As rc56 writes, gibson "long failed to protect in the past". But if gibson is going the copyright route they will have to do it model by model. So gibson should be losing unless a jury is persuaded. If i were on the jury they would get nothing.

    As several members have commented, gibson both recently and today, is a company that prefers to litigate than innovate

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Old news. Gibson won its case against Paul Reed Smith in 2000.

    The article wasn't edited or proofread, and it's a puff piece for Gibson, so it looks like it didn't comer from a real news agency.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Old news. Gibson won its case against Paul Reed Smith in 2000.

    The article wasn't edited or proofread, and it's a puff piece for Gibson, so it looks like it didn't comer from a real news agency.
    The PRS decision was reversed on appeal.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I find their continuing legal contortions, penchant for drama, quality issues, and childishly boastful marketing practices to be so unpalatable that I have no inclination to ever purchase even a set of strings from them again.
    I still like Gibson guitars (especially their acoustics) and enjoy looking at them when I go into Guitar Center. Having said that, I bought a new electric guitar earlier this year and didn't even consider a Gibson. I found the posture of the new management so off-putting in recent years that it sort of soured me to the brand.
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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    "The jury issued a judgment in the amount of $4,000, a mere fraction of the $7 million plus originally sought by Gibson."

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    Default Re: This just showed up in my inbox re: Gibson guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    "The jury issued a judgment in the amount of $4,000, a mere fraction of the $7 million plus originally sought by Gibson."
    Any guess as to what they spent for thier 4K...

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