The shit gets deeper with Dean vs. Gibson

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
So then how does any guitar maker get away with anything similar to a les paul from here on out? All the agiles, vintage and similar brands won't be able to continue making that shape. Dean at least completely did their own headstock. Wonder if schenker has enough deans to last him or if he gets forced back over to gibson. ( they probably don't want him though, not exactly a high profile name anymore )
 

ghosty999

Well-known member
That's really a shame. I've never understood Gibson fans. They aren't exactly a very consumer friendly corporation, and constantly try to reinvent their 50-70 year old IPs. Then all the binding, tuning, paint, hair in lacquer, and head stock issues in their high end guitars recently is worrying. To top it all off, they are swinging the big corporate law dick around to slap away innovation from smaller companies.

Oh but .... "pLaY AuThEnTiC"......? lol Nothing more "rock n roll" than a faceless multi-national corporation trying to monopolize.
 

marvcus

Well-known member
I got no problem with it. You get a patent, trademark, or copyright and someone tries to use it without your consent, go after them.

If you created a logo, design, etc and someone copied it and started selling it, you’d probably feel the same.

Gibson’s problem is that they were complacent until times got hard. They should’ve been consistent in protecting it.
 

GreatRedDragon

Active member
So then how does any guitar maker get away with anything similar to a les paul from here on out? All the agiles, vintage and similar brands won't be able to continue making that shape. Dean at least completely did their own headstock. Wonder if schenker has enough deans to last him or if he gets forced back over to gibson. ( they probably don't want him though, not exactly a high profile name anymore )
Because simply being similar to a Les Paul is not enough to warrant automatic trademark infringement.

Gibson has gone after other companies in the past to mixed results.

When PRS launched their Singlecut model Gibson sued them for trademark infringement and initially won, but a year later the decision was reversed in a higher court and production was able to resume.

Gibson did have a win against ESP, who changed the shape of their Eclipse. And of course in the 70s Gibson went after Ibanez for important Japanese clones.

Agile, Vintage, etc already avoid trademark infringement. That's why their body shapes are similar to but not identical to a Les Paul. You'll notice Dean's Thoroughbred model wasn't included in Gibson's lawsuit. It's just the V and the Z, which have identical bodies to Gibson's Flying V and Explorer.

And keep in mind these trademarks just cover the US. In Japan it's not enforced, which is why you still see accurate Les Paul copies being built with Gibson's headstock shape, but US retailers cannot import them. That's why the Japanese Epiphones, and the Orvilles before them, used the open book headstock - Gibson had to compete with Burny, Greco, Bacchus, Edwards, Tokai, etc. In the West Gibson is protected from competition, so they can offer a compromised headstock shape.
 

japetus

Well-known member
"Nothing says Rock N Roll, like litigation!"


marka.jpg
 

GreatRedDragon

Active member
That's really a shame. I've never understood Gibson fans. They aren't exactly a very consumer friendly corporation, and constantly try to reinvent their 50-70 year old IPs. Then all the binding, tuning, paint, hair in lacquer, and head stock issues in their high end guitars recently is worrying. To top it all off, they are swinging the big corporate law dick around to slap away innovation from smaller companies.

Oh but .... "pLaY AuThEnTiC"......? lol Nothing more "rock n roll" than a faceless multi-national corporation trying to monopolize.
To me, the issue is the purposeful design compromises Gibson makes on their less expensive models for the sole purpose of making their Custom Shop models more attractive.

That, and their refusal to go outside of the box for anything but the Les Paul and to a lesser extent the SG.

Case in point, Gibson just forbade Dean from making their Explorers and Flying Vs, which often feature figured maple tops, body and neck binding, ebony fretboards and Floyd Rose bridges. Gibson's own Explorer and Flying V offerings? Same old Antique Natural (with a completely butchered pickguard on the Flying V) and 70s (which for a $500 price premium adds neck binding and the option of a white or black finish). Anything else is in the Custom Shop.
 

ghosty999

Well-known member
To me, the issue is the purposeful design compromises Gibson makes on their less expensive models for the sole purpose of making their Custom Shop models more attractive.

That, and their refusal to go outside of the box for anything but the Les Paul and to a lesser extent the SG.

Case in point, Gibson just forbade Dean from making their Explorers and Flying Vs, which often feature figured maple tops, body and neck binding, ebony fretboards and Floyd Rose bridges. Gibson's own Explorer and Flying V offerings? Same old Antique Natural (with a completely butchered pickguard on the Flying V) and 70s (which for a $500 price premium adds neck binding and the option of a white or black finish). Anything else is in the Custom Shop.
Thats interesting as I've always found Epiphones to have excellent QC and quality. But when you go to the Gibson brand, but my friends who bought high end Gibson models, all had to go for a setup etc. Imagine paying 1.2k only to have to take it somewhere to be playable... Like buying a new car from Ford, but having to take it to your local garage to get it working.

You're right about the refusal to go outside the box. They always keep it SAFE.
I got no problem with it. You get a patent, trademark, or copyright and someone tries to use it without your consent, go after them.

If you created a logo, design, etc and someone copied it and started selling it, you’d probably feel the same.

Gibson’s problem is that they were complacent until times got hard. They should’ve been consistent in protecting it.
People have no problem with it, until they do. When corporations swallow up the competition, bankrupting smaller companies.... it benefits no one. The guitar market needs to be a free market full of competition, art and innovation. Not an Amazon style monopoly.

Yes under patent law they have a case. It's just strange to see "rock and metal guitar players" shill for faceless multinational corporations. We should encourage a more free market, exchange of ideas, less red-tape and regulation. Not More of it.
 

alan67

Well-known member
I like Gibsons, I miss the SG standard I had a long time ago. I don't own any now but I've played more than one that had QC issues....and they were over 2k. That said, I have a 2 USA Deans and they are flawless.....
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I got no problem with it. You get a patent, trademark, or copyright and someone tries to use it without your consent, go after them.

If you created a logo, design, etc and someone copied it and started selling it, you’d probably feel the same.

Gibson’s problem is that they were complacent until times got hard. They should’ve been consistent in protecting it.
Yeah, I don't think they even tried to trademark the V until the late 2000's??? I think they only were awarded like $4000 in the lawsuit for not applying for those trademarks, but, Dean's gotta pay over $300,000 for Gibson's legal fees, plus there own. With Evan stealing over $400,000 from his dad's estate, Dean's gotta be hurting for cash. They'll need to reinvent themselves to survive.
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I like Gibsons, I miss the SG standard I had a long time ago. I don't own any now but I've played more than one that had QC issues....and they were over 2k. That said, I have a 2 USA Deans and they are flawless.....
USA Deans are no joke. They're right up there with PRS in terms of quality and QC. I'd love to have a USA Dean Z or V.
 

Exo-metal

Well-known member
That's not even clever enough to qualify for humor here...afa large shops I would argue that esp may have the edge on quality. I played Jeff Hanneman's guitars and they were killer😎
 

riffsfordaze

Well-known member
I got no problem with it. You get a patent, trademark, or copyright and someone tries to use it without your consent, go after them.

If you created a logo, design, etc and someone copied it and started selling it, you’d probably feel the same.

Gibson’s problem is that they were complacent until times got hard. They should’ve been consistent in protecting it.
Exactly!

The Deans came out in 1977-78

Only 45 years ago...
 
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Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
Because simply being similar to a Les Paul is not enough to warrant automatic trademark infringement.

Gibson has gone after other companies in the past to mixed results.

When PRS launched their Singlecut model Gibson sued them for trademark infringement and initially won, but a year later the decision was reversed in a higher court and production was able to resume.

Gibson did have a win against ESP, who changed the shape of their Eclipse. And of course in the 70s Gibson went after Ibanez for important Japanese clones.

Agile, Vintage, etc already avoid trademark infringement. That's why their body shapes are similar to but not identical to a Les Paul. You'll notice Dean's Thoroughbred model wasn't included in Gibson's lawsuit. It's just the V and the Z, which have identical bodies to Gibson's Flying V and Explorer.

And keep in mind these trademarks just cover the US. In Japan it's not enforced, which is why you still see accurate Les Paul copies being built with Gibson's headstock shape, but US retailers cannot import them. That's why the Japanese Epiphones, and the Orvilles before them, used the open book headstock - Gibson had to compete with Burny, Greco, Bacchus, Edwards, Tokai, etc. In the West Gibson is protected from competition, so they can offer a compromised headstock shape.
Thanks for the explanation.. so essentially Gibson can't do shit in Japan and nothing can stop me from ordering an Edwards from Japan or private sellers from selling them to each other. Nice. Gibson can suck it!
 

romanianreaper

Well-known member
Not saying it is right or wrong but I think when Gibson nearly went bankrupt a few years ago, they just did a whole review of all things Gibson, getting everything in order, sorted out, etc. They succeeded with fixing their QC issues and I noticed that with my Standard. Probably not necessary for them to go to this extent but I'm sure they can't just pick and choose what companies to target.
 

GreatRedDragon

Active member
Thanks for the explanation.. so essentially Gibson can't do shit in Japan and nothing can stop me from ordering an Edwards from Japan or private sellers from selling them to each other. Nice. Gibson can suck it!
Exactly.

You can see this in other examples as well. Dimarzio has trademarked double cream bobbins, but that only affects winders and retailers based in the US. Bare Knuckle Pickups can sell double cream pickups all day long because they're based in the UK.

Trademark law has some tricky rules though. For example, Dimarzio is the only company allowed to openly sell double cream pickups in the USA. But if the pickups are under a cover, and the color isn't at all used as a point of advertisement, then other manufacturers can get away with selling double cream pickups, because the trademark only applies when it's being used as a selling point.

Another example outside of the guitar world is Transformers. If a character's name is too generic it will never be sold under just its name. Jazz will only be sold as Autobot Jazz, because they can't just trademark Jazz. And in the instructions, they will will only refer to transformation as "conversion." You don't transform a Transformer, you convert it. Why? Because if you transform it then Transformer is merely descriptive of a type of toy and could be ruled as being generic. So now Optimus Prime's catch phrase is just "roll out," not "transform and roll out," because Transformers don't transform, they just convert.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
Exactly.

You can see this in other examples as well. Dimarzio has trademarked double cream bobbins, but that only affects winders and retailers based in the US. Bare Knuckle Pickups can sell double cream pickups all day long because they're based in the UK.

Trademark law has some tricky rules though. For example, Dimarzio is the only company allowed to openly sell double cream pickups in the USA. But if the pickups are under a cover, and the color isn't at all used as a point of advertisement, then other manufacturers can get away with selling double cream pickups, because the trademark only applies when it's being used as a selling point.

Another example outside of the guitar world is Transformers. If a character's name is too generic it will never be sold under just its name. Jazz will only be sold as Autobot Jazz, because they can't just trademark Jazz. And in the instructions, they will will only refer to transformation as "conversion." You don't transform a Transformer, you convert it. Why? Because if you transform it then Transformer is merely descriptive of a type of toy and could be ruled as being generic. So now Optimus Prime's catch phrase is just "roll out," not "transform and roll out," because Transformers don't transform, they just convert.

lol hilarious all the loop holes.
 

MadAsAHatter

Well-known member
Another example outside of the guitar world is Transformers. If a character's name is too generic it will never be sold under just its name. Jazz will only be sold as Autobot Jazz, because they can't just trademark Jazz. And in the instructions, they will will only refer to transformation as "conversion." You don't transform a Transformer, you convert it. Why? Because if you transform it then Transformer is merely descriptive of a type of toy and could be ruled as being generic. So now Optimus Prime's catch phrase is just "roll out," not "transform and roll out," because Transformers don't transform, they just convert.

Maybe Optimus can try a few new catch phrases then to trademark. "Convert and roll out" just doesn't have the same ring to it. How about "Autobots... get your rears in gears" Maybe not LOL
 
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