The shit gets deeper with Dean vs. Gibson

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I guess a judge has forced Dean to stop manufacturing, advertising, marketing, and selling certain models, most notably the V & Z. I still see them for sale, and I believe they're still on their website.. I guess they're going to have to find their own way! After the Dime fiasco, and now this, R.I.P. Dean..

 

thegame

Well-known member
There goes Gibson being bullies again. I believe there’s a statue of limitations involving patent expirations for electronic circuits but I guess instrument body shape patents are exempt from this somehow?
 

romanianreaper

Well-known member
I'm kind of split on this issue. If you create something and you have success from that, it is fair for another company to slap their name on it, retain the same shape and sell it directly way cheaper? At the same time, most people that love Les Paul guitars will want a real Les Paul. It is a tough thing to pin down in my opinion. I love Gibson guitars but never felt like Dean was taking over their business.
 

paulyc

Well-known member
There goes Gibson being bullies again. I believe there’s a statue of limitations involving patent expirations for electronic circuits but I guess instrument body shape patents are exempt from this somehow?
Cue up Larry DiMarzio and his absurd double cream (creme) bobbin patent, or Fender and the strat headstock shape.
 

cardinal

Well-known member
What's really irritating is that it's not like I particularly would ever want a "Dean" Explorer or V: I'd much rather have a Gibson. But I've looked into several Deans because Gibson doesn't make guitars with Floyds very often etc.
 

cetanu

Active member
Just another reason to never ever buy a Gibson again. Should probably finally sell my V and get an Edwards before they're gone.
 

GreatRedDragon

Active member
There goes Gibson being bullies again. I believe there’s a statue of limitations involving patent expirations for electronic circuits but I guess instrument body shape patents are exempt from this somehow?

It's the difference between patents, copyrights and trademarks.

A patent applies to inventions, and gives the owner 20 years of exclusive rights to the invention before it enters the public domain.

A copyright applies to a creative work, and gives the owner exclusive rights to publish/perform until a given period after the creator's death before it enters the public domain.

A trademark applies to any design that identifies a business, and gives the owner exclusive rights to it indefinitely, but the trademark will lapse if unused or unprotected.

Patents and copyrights exist to protect the people who created something and let them profit from their creations before letting the public own them. Disney is infamous for their influence on copyright law, since as soon as Steamboat Willy falls into public domain Mickey Mouse becomes a public domain character. But in concept the understanding is that eventually these things just become a part of the public fabric, and are bigger than their creators.

Trademarks are a different beast. If they aren't protected then they lapse completely. That's why Gibson is going after Dean, if they don't they run the risk of losing exclusive rights to the Explorer and Flying V shapes (but not the names, because those are their own trademarks and they aren't being challenged), and if that happens then anybody can and will make them. For example, ESP would be able to make Gibson-accurate Explorers and Flying Vs as Hetfield signature models.
 
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