Gibson wins against Dean

CapinCripes

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Approximations and THE exact guitar are two different things. The Gibson V and the Dean V are pretty much the same thing besides the headstock and maybe small specs like pickups and stuff. Dean essentially pulled a Vanilla Ice

Is it the same guitar though? Is a Jackson soloist and an esp m-2 the same guitar? Is a charvel so-cal the same guitar as a strat? Are all smartphones iphones because of their outward appearance?
 

MaxOfMetal

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Pretty much expected most of the reactions in here. :lol:

I don't see how not letting someone else make money off your designs is stifling creativity or innovation, if anything it forces other manufacturers to not make the same old guitars. Isn't that what everyone complains about? Fuddy duddy old Gibson just making the same old same old?

If this was almost any other brand folks in here would have the opposite opinion.

You don't see too many folks bringing up the litigation that FMIC has been involved with.
 

WarMachine

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This needs a #MeToo, like for real.
#GibsonToo
How long has this been going on? Not the body stealing, im talking the lawsuit. Dean's been doing this for years, so if Gibson has been fighting them legally on it for years, then it's a tit for tat. But if its something that is "just now" a problem, piss on them.
 

MaxOfMetal

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This needs a #MeToo, like for real.
#GibsonToo
How long has this been going on? Not the body stealing, im talking the lawsuit. Dean's been doing this for years, so if Gibson has been fighting them legally on it for years, then it's a tit for tat. But if its something that is "just now" a problem, piss on them.

It's an interesting history.

In early days, 70's to early 80's, Dean Guitars was closer to the smaller one man shops we see more frequently these days. Dean, the person, made one offs for rockstars and Gibson didn't really mind as he was only making a handful of guitars a year.

Then Dean Z. sold the business the first time and they focused on foreign markets, which again Gibson wasn't at the time looking to compete directly there, so sort of let it slide. This must have been from around 85' to almost 95'.

Dean Guitars as most know them didn't exist until Armadillo entered the picture in the late 90's. That's when they first started marketing themselves as continuing the legacy of American guitars of the Gibson mold. They did some ads, got some C&Ds but always seemed to back down.

From the early 00's onwards they were constantly either almost bankrupt or almost sold, just overall in flux, so it wasn't until fairly recently that anything further than a threat of action could really get a life of its own.

That's the highly abridged version and not even accounting for the various eras of Gibson and it's management. :lol:

Now we're here.
 

CapinCripes

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It's not so much that it's Gibson, it's the age of the designs. I feel that if nothing else design exclusivity in general should sunset at some point similar to ip becoming public domain. I would argue that the extent that the law protects ip holder's at this point stifles both competition and the economy as a whole and is at the determent to the consumer. Should ip holder's have a exclusive right to the fruit of their work? Yes but only for a time. We as a society need to reform how we look at intellectual property as there are more and more examples of ip existing only as a way to tie up the courts and for ip holder's to make money not from the ip itself but through litigation.
 

bigcupholder

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It's $4k per design, not per guitar sold. Gibson didn't even cover their legal costs with that judgement. The more valuable thing for them is the ruling that their trademarks are not generic and they can protect them more easily in the future (assuming they don't get lazy and decide to not protect them for several decades again).

I don't like Gibson but I have no problem with this. Their designs are theirs. Other companies should have to change the body shapes at least a little.
 
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Is it the same guitar though? Is a Jackson soloist and an esp m-2 the same guitar? Is a charvel so-cal the same guitar as a strat? Are all smartphones iphones because of their outward appearance?
What? The Gibson 58 and the Dean V ARE the same guitar. The shape, pickgaurd design, V tailpiece, etc. Unless you're very familiar with the brands you wouldn't be able to tell them apart unless you saw the headstock
 

MaxOfMetal

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All this "anti consumer", "anti innovation", and "anti competition" rhetoric and no one has really explained why it's better for anyone if Dean, or anyone else really, makes guitars that look like carbon copies of Gibsons.

I mean, if all you want is a Gibson but cheaper Epiphone has been around since forever.

Plenty of companies have made tweaks to the designs that look great, and that might not have happened if they could just copy verbatim.

Is it the same guitar though? Is a Jackson soloist and an esp m-2 the same guitar? Is a charvel so-cal the same guitar as a strat? Are all smartphones iphones because of their outward appearance?

Bad examples.

Try ordering an M-II with a Concorde headstock, FMIC owns Charvel, and Samsung got slapped because the Galaxy looked too much like the iPhone. :lol:
 

Hollowway

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The article says; " Importantly, it was ruled that Gibson is owed $4,000 in “counterfeiting statutory damages per counterfeit trademark per type of goods sold, [or] offered for sale.” "

It's $4k per thing they even tried to sell from how I read it. Sounds like they could go bankrupt. The article contradicts itself or maybe it hasn't sunk in to them yet? One of them is wrong.
I read it as " Importantly, it was ruled that Gibson is owed $4,000 in “counterfeiting statutory damages per counterfeit trademark (Flying V) per type of goods (Guitar) sold, [or] offered for sale.”

So it's just $4000. I doesn't look like it means per every guitar sold.

Anyway, I think protecting IP is important, but I also thing patent trolls suck. When you see how much innovation in body styles is important, it's a wonder Gibson (and Dean, too) don't do more styles. But, I'm aware that I'm not a traditionalist, and most players are.
 

nickgray

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if anything it forces other manufacturers to not make the same old guitars

Yeah, but to which extent? Granted, V and Explorer shapes are rather unique, but it still begs the question of why the hell a company should have a monopoly on a design like that, especially since they're both 60 years old. But that's just down to American IP laws and views on IP in general.

But the LP shape is just a solid body classical guitar with a cutaway. Gibson has fuck all to do with it. Same goes for Fender - Strat and Tele are both logical derivatives of that shape. That's the real issue - to which extent companies like Gibson can push with this nonsense. Should Ibanez pay tribute to Fender for their RGs?

In any case, I think it's complete bs solely because we all damn know that the logo on the headstock (and the headstock itself) is the most important part of the guitar. Dean logo with a wacky headstock -> completely different from a Gibson Flying V.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Yeah, but to which extent? Granted, V and Explorer shapes are rather unique, but it still begs the question of why the hell a company should have a monopoly on a design like that, especially since they're both 60 years old. But that's just down to American IP laws and views on IP in general.

But the LP shape is just a solid body classical guitar with a cutaway. Gibson has fuck all to do with it. Same goes for Fender - Strat and Tele are both logical derivatives of that shape. That's the real issue - to which extent companies like Gibson can push with this nonsense. Should Ibanez pay tribute to Fender for their RGs?

In any case, I think it's complete bs solely because we all damn know that the logo on the headstock (and the headstock itself) is the most important part of the guitar. Dean logo with a wacky headstock -> completely different from a Gibson Flying V.

If "old guitar shape A" is nothing special, then why copy it?

It's hard to really distinguish when "x" becomes "y" and no longer infringes, which is why this stuff goes to court where arguments are made and a consensus is reached. Is that consensus absolutely right? Not necessarily, but what else is there to go off of?

Obviously this:
AD620317-664C-40D0-AE5F-A67DE6CB81D7.jpeg

Is not this:
4234919F-22BE-4573-A894-36087C8A00F0.png

But then you have that:
5EDBFD1F-B4FE-4435-8CCC-07A09A1F81C9.jpeg

There's nothing new about this ruling. Back in the 70's Ibanez got slapped for making near 1:1 copies of Gibson and Fender designs, and because of that we got a whole bunch of interesting guitars which might not have happened had Ibanez been allowed to just keep making Les Pauls and Strats and Explorers.

I think American IP law is pretty shitty, and has been significantly co-opted by big corporate interests.

But, other than IP law being dumb and a whole bunch of "what if"s, what's the objective harm of another mainstream manufacturer not being allowed to use the designs of another?
 

Emperoff

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I don't think people triggered by this cares if Gibson is right or not. The thing is that until very recently Gibson had a track record of putting out shitty but expensive guitars. So instead on focusing on getting their shit together, they started a crusade to for preserve "authenticity", which is utterly ridiculous at this point considering every damn manufacturer in the planet copies somebody else.

Basically, Gibson gets a lot of hate for their business practices and decisions as a company. That means everything they do will be scrutinized way more than other companies.

I'll just leave this here just in case you guys have forgotten:

 
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manu80

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Don’t understand the decision as tokai/ burny etc are copies even in the headstock shape for Lp’s…even Vintage V100 etc…less now but it’s still subtle
Fgn changed the upper horn bit it looks more lile the same than deans which have different headstock shapes…
Some brand are easily more attackable than others…
-As for charvel/ strat /jackson they’re the same group ,FMI, so nothing wrong here
Just picking your style classic/rock/metal…and you jave the same guitar but different in look-
 
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mmr007

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I would assume Gibson sent newspaper clippings of what happened in court to burny and tokai so they can react accordingly.

Im not sure if the play authentic was a crusade but rather a short lived marketing strategy. It seems like they’ve actually put more effort into using artists (Jones Hammett, Mustaine Faulkner etc) to rebuild their image.

Gibson as a company may have stepped on their own dick now and again but they never stepped on mine so I cant hate them and I certainly can cut them some slack.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Don’t understand the decision as tokai/ burny etc are copies even in the headstock shape for Lp’s…even Vintage V100 etc…less now but it’s still subtle
Fgn changed the upper horn bit it looks more lile the same than deans which have different headstock shapes…
Some brand are easily more attackable than others…
-As for charvel/ strat /jackson they’re the same group ,FMI, so nothing wrong here
Just picking your style classic/rock/metal…and you jave the same guitar but different in look-

Those companies (Tokai, Fernandes[Burny], Fujigen, and Vintage) are based outside of the United States, so it's different going after them.
 

mmr007

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So safe to assume when you see those in the US they were pp imported but not legally sold like the ESP lawsuit explorers?
 

MaxOfMetal

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So safe to assume when you see those in the US they were pp imported but not legally sold like the ESP lawsuit explorers?

They're not "illegal" they just don't go through the normal retail channels, they're via third parties on open marketplaces like Reverb. It's too fragmented and there's little recourse to go after all the small time sellers and since the manufacturer is both not selling direct and based outside the US there's almost nothing they can do there.

As Gibson has learned, regardless of the argument, international courts will almost always side with the home team.
 

soul_lip_mike

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Any actual lawyers able to say if it’s “just $4000” or how much this is actually going to cost Dean in the end? It’s funny reading the dean fb group post opinions vs other fb groups.
 

Flappydoodle

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I don't get the Gibson hate. Especially in this situation. Dean pretty blatantly copied their designs and profited from it. Why should they be able to do that?

Gibson still makes great guitars, including the V.

Kinda tired of Gibson sitting on designs and using them as litigation generators instead of competing.

How are they sitting on it and not competing? Gibson still make Flying V models. There's a bunch of current models on their website, including cool stuff like Flying V custom, Korina, and one with a trem: https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Guitars/Designer

Litigating based on body shape of a guitar because you can't compete on any other level

Who says they're not competing? I think Gibson still sells a LOT of guitars. They're insanely popular. They still have massive artists using them. And recently they're invigorating their popularity, social media and appeal to younger people. I really don't get the hate.
 


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