Dean seeks trademark cancellations against Gibson, alleges dealer interference

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by gunslinger, Jul 10, 2019.

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  1. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Member

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  2. KevWind

    KevWind Member

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    Ah yes, I guess I was subconsciously hoping there was a button :confused:
     
  3. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Hahaha
     
  4. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I suspect it is you who are confused about how patents work, and entirely miss my point which I have stated many times.
    Function is mute? You mean it is silent? Perhaps you meant "moot"?

    And you obviously didn't actually read my posts, or I would not have to explain this again.
    Read the entire post , don't just spot one word in it and think you understand it.

    Which, read carefully, my point is that patent is about function. A patent is used to document an element of something that makes it function differently. That is a patent issue.
    If the patent on something is expired, then it is not possible to infringe on that patent.

    A trademark is a mark that declares that a product was produced by a specific individual or company.
    My point is that if Dean can prove that their V shaped guitar is shaped as it is as a matter of function, and not being used as a trademark, then they cannot possibly be taking part in a trademark infringement, because it is an issue of patent.
    Do some research and learn the difference between a patent, trademark, and copyright.

    In other words, I am suggesting that perhaps Gibson is trying to enforce a trademark in a situation that is about patent, not trademark, and is perhaps trying to use trademark in place of an expired patent.
     
  5. FPFL

    FPFL Member

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    This all started under the former leadership at Gibson, this is a continuation of that, not a really "new" effort.
     
  6. Da Geezer

    Da Geezer Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    Actually, the kidding kind of makes my point. Because there are those who seem to find it "anal-retentive" to expect the binding to be flush with the wood, or the screws to be put in straight, or there not to be flecks of some pinkish color in a white finish. But yeah, as I've said, you could buy quite a few and not see those problems. And it's likely they were more prevalent through some periods than others. The fact is, while you comments may have been in fun, I have gotten comments which made it clear some of the true believers really are prepared to put up with a lot of cosmetic issues, even on a very expensive guitar. Don't think I didn't try to overlook it myself since the guitar in question was one I'd lusted after for quite some time and wasn't likely to be able to afford again.

    As for this whole headstock breakage issue, I've never worried that Gibson headstocks would be any more likely to break than tilt-back headstocks made by anyone else. I suppose it's the "vintage correct" angle but I agree, you just have to make sure they don't fall. I know it's quite common and I do personally know a guy who's had his broken multiple times. Things happen on stage. Some guys just don't sweat it. They have em repaired and get back to work. My drummer once tripped on my cord and pulled my guitar off the stand. Thankfully it was a carpeted stage and the guitar was a Strat so no harm done (that was many years ago - lesson learned, never leave the cord plugged into the guitar!). No, my issue with the company has always been consistency. One guitar will be flawless and another will be full of issues you wouldn't see on a $299 guitar made in China. The binding ledge thing is/was so common that when I showed it to my luthier, he immediately pulled a Les Paul off his rack and showed me the exact same thing. Yet I've owned two Les Pauls (a 78 and a 200?) and both were near perfect.

    I've played and owned Gibsons from the 60s and 70s and they've at times been my main guitars. I hope the company gets its act together. As I said, I'd sincerely hoped this latest management shift would signal a return to something like the Gibson of old. And I know that even through their darkest periods they've produced many fantastic instruments. You can buy a Gibson from virtually any era and get a wonderful guitar. All I'm saying is they need to focus their attention on the instruments. They don't seem to realize that if they'd just do that, fewer players would turn to other "Gibson like" brands. Those wanting a Gibson on a budget will always buy used or buy Gibson's own Epiphone products (which have gotten very good lately). Cultivate a reputation for being consistently excellent and people will turn to other brands only when they want something truly different.
     
  8. KevWind

    KevWind Member

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    No I am not confused in least how patents and trademarks work.

    My misuse of the word mute has no bearing on the efficacy of my post.
    No need to get defensive or snippy.
    I read the entire post but.
    Your right, I was unclear about exactly what you were trying to say. Because to me it is not real clear to deduce the above from your wording in the prior post.


    The post above somewhat clears it up what you are attempting to say. While anything is possible, I think it unlikely Deans lawyers would use such an argument.
    As I would doubt there is any "legal precedent" that establishes a guitar body shape as being part of its specific function/tone.

    And attempting to establish a new legal precedent is a hughe uphill battle. Particularly given there are already a number of established legal precedents that Dean can use with no uphill involved .

    My guess is they will rely on the shapes having been uncontested for 40 some years as a trademark infringement. And that a buyer is not likely to be confused as to brand when purchasing. And that because of the length of time involved, Gibson can no longer enforce the body shape/s as a protected trademark. Just like what has already been legally established in the LP shape lawsuits and Fender's S and T shape lawsuits.
    Seems to me there is little reason for Dean to try to hack and claw its way up a remote mountainside on foot , when it can simply motor along on a flat gravel road
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  9. Paleolith54

    Paleolith54 Member

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    Plus all the YouTube guitar-related talking heads who have rushed to get their 15 minutes of outrage out there. You know, as a public service.
     
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  10. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I think you are right that Dean will indeed make the fact that Gibson has not tried to enforce body shapes as a trademark in the past, but as I say, I also think that trademarking body shapes is weak and is likely not enforceable. Because as I say, it is common knowledge among luthiers that body shape is a function that not only effects a guitars tone, it effects how well it projects, it effects how hardware is place, and ergonomics, which is all patent issues. As I very clearly stated before.
    Which I believe, whether Dean needs to use or not, may very well be there for them to use.
    Try cutting everything on either side of an LPs body away except the area that holds the pickups and stop tailpiece, and I guarantee you the tone will indeed change significantly.
     
  11. exactopposite

    exactopposite Member

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    How much market share is Dean taking away from Gibson anyway? I don't think I have ever seen anyone playing a Dean guitar outside of a store. They may make fine guitars. I honestly don't know anything about them.

    I think Gibsons are aspirational guitars. They are expensive and a lot of people who start out playing similar shaped import from another brand really want to get a Gibson when they can afford it. Obviously intellectual property is important but in the scheme of things it seems going after Dean is an odd move for a company that also acts as if it is superior to all competitors. It could end up making a lot of people buy Dean guitars if they can be found.
     
  12. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    There is a difference of opinion about that....
     
  13. ukslinger

    ukslinger Member

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    My guess is that Gibson’s expected outcome is a tad different from what it looks like on the surface. Could be wrong but I assume a company like Gibson sees the long game in all this...but they did go bankrupt from investing in a bunch of random crap so who knows.
     
  14. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    This just isn't reality. I have had Gibsons, Fenders, Gretches. I graduated to Asian guitars. I like them better, I consider many of them to be quite simply better instruments. Better fret work, better attention to detail, better woods. Better neck shapes, and necks that stay put and hold a setup for a long time. I don't aspire to own a Gibson anything. Been there done that. They are ok instrument, and do indeed directly compete with many other makers. At a much higher price, for some reason.
    I need guitars that work for me, that suit my needs and function the way I need them to on stage and in the studio. The guitars that do that best for me are not Gibsons. Perhaps they work for some guys, I know guys who settle for them and stick with them, and guys who have tried them and moved on to something they prefer more.
    They are great for speculators and collectors, guys who buy a guitar thinking in the future it could appreciate. And I get that. But I am not one of those guys. My guitars make me money while I am playing them, not sitting stored away waiting to become the next fad.
    It has nothing to do with being able to afford it. It has to do with personal preference.
    Dean is a very well respected guitar. They aren't my cup of meat, but I have seen plenty of guys using them professionally.
     
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  15. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Of course there is. There are many guys out there who will never hear the differences, their hearing is just not that acute. And of course, there are those who actually work on instruments and those who can't even set their own intonation. And then there are beginners, who again, aren't likely to even care about the difference, and advanced players who are very particular about a guitars features because of , in part, the way the features effect the sound.
    And of course there are advanced players who take their guitars to techs to be hot rodded and never notice the differences and could care less.
     
  16. exactopposite

    exactopposite Member

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    I think we mostly agree here. I personally have never desired or aspired to own a Gibson. 6 of my 7 guitars were made in Asia and 2 of those Gibson derived types. My comment was based on the way other people talk about Gibson. It seems common for guitar players to aspire to Gibson even though that hasn't been the case for me personally. Either way I think Dean is an odd target to go after.
     
  17. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    This is so true. You can make a strat with a Tele body and the Tele always seems fatter. The mass isn’t much different either, just the shape. The neck isn’t glued in and there can be a small gap on the cavities side walls but still. It’s the shape.
     
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  18. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    The shape effects everything. I think even if you had two guitars that had exactly the same features and mass in the body and neck, and the shape was different, there still may be a slight change in tone and sustain. It probably wouldn't be significant.
    But the shape does indeed effect the mass and weight.
    It you pulled the electronics from a Les Paul style guitar and put it in custom built set neck Telecaster that had a maple cap, rosewood fretboard, mahogany body, and the same hardware as on an LP, it would sound different just on the basis of the mass and weight of the body. The amount of wood that is there without any other considerations makes a significant difference.
     
  19. NMGuitarblues

    NMGuitarblues Member

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    The article basically calls out the Rubinson family for spending a bunch of money to cover up bad press regarding their COOs kiddie porn addiction. It seems to me you would not want to name Dean or easily searchable names in the article or it would get taken down by the Rubinson lawyers. I guess you would need a rudimentary understanding of Dean's history to realize the article was about Dean but I would think most of the people commenting on an article titled "Dean Seeks Trademark Cancellations Against Gibson, Alleges Dealer Interference" would know that history enough to know what the hell the article is talking about.
     

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