Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by JesseKnutson44, Jul 15, 2019.
Ah, I see.
I did not know that.
I don't like seeing it happen to Gibson. Even though I am not a fan of Gibson guitars particularly, it is a company that has been in business for a long time and at one time had a reputation for making high quality instruments that ranked up there with the best. It is a shame to have watched that change over the years.
Sadly, there seems to be a business cycle that goes like this : Some enterprising young man has a dream and comes up with a product that arises out of something he has a passion for and markets it. He puts his life in it, lives at his business and is so immersed in it that he has no life outside of it. He builds the businesses reputation and turns it into something respected. Then he either is offered so much money he can't refuse it or retires or dies and the company goes to his kids, who sometimes don't have the passion he had for the business and runs it like a business rather than a passion. Or they sell it to some investment group who turns it into just another mass production widget maker.
Once a business leaves the hands of the one who had a passion for the product, it just isn't likely to stay the same. Even if the second generation does have a passion for it and carries the tradition on, somewhere down the line it becomes, as I say, just another widget maker.
I don’t think even Henry J would have been dumb enough to partner with Echopark. You’d be better off setting up a daycare center next to a dingo farm.
I have far more faith in JC than the folks providing internet guidance...who still believe Gibson's woes were due to 'bad quality control', and who will forget about Mark Agnesi's video as soon as the next Kardashian sex tape comes out (or whatever twitter outrage happens this week).
I’m a Gibson fan. More of a Fender fan, but I own a Firebird and a 335.
BUT this statement was made to serve two purposes.
First, Gibson wants to control the narrative on its aggressive attempt to enforce what it considers its trademarks. So, instead of looking like bullies, they are “partnering.” No one is partnering or paying for a license without a legal threat.
Second, Gibson wants to hedge its bets on (another) potential trademark loss with Dean. What they did was file a lawsuit that rippled through the industry. Then, if I had to guess, a bunch of quasi threatening letters went out “asking” smaller builders if they want to partner. “Sure would be to bad if something were to happen to your guitar company, like Dean. Pay us, and we’ll protect you.”
Aside from counterfeits, Gibson’s claimed trademarks on body shapes are legally weak at best and transparently calculated at worst. Just go read the PRS decision the 6th Circuit issued to see what the legal standards are. In short, no one is looking at or buying a Dean or a PRS or a Collings, etc. and thinking they were buying a Gibson, which is the simplified purpose of trademarks. Trademarks aren’t patents or copyrights.
In the Sixth Circuit, in any event.
If my friend was buying a guitar other than a Gibson and I ask 'what kind' and he answers the 'Flying V model' or the 'Explorer Model', they are associating the guitar with Gibson's trademark. This is where I believe Gibson has a case on body shape, since it relates it back to the original trademarked shape and the consumer's awareness of the origin of the shape.
There have been a few really well written analyses on that decision - mostly disagreeing how it was ruled, eviscerating initial interest confusion doctrine.
Having a licensed product program makes every bit of sense, sets boundaries, etc. Good step.
It's too bad it didn't make it to SCOTUS. Their opinion might have likewise been dubious, but at least it would be a unifying doctrine. While it's possible that the rationale used in the Sixth Circuit, such as it is, could be persuasive in whatever an opinion is in the Gibson v. Dean lawsuit (assuming it gets to that), I wouldn't assume the Fifth Circuit would follow the PRS decision.
Cool story, thanks for sharing.
“The Ghetto Bird ate my Flyin V”
The facts are different, so who knows? There have been a couple of big cases on this whole initial interest thing recently (a watch company suing Amazon over search results and a coffee maker suing Williams Sonoma) that were ruled differently. It's just a very poorly defined concept.
Dean was smart to challenge the Trademarks themselves because decisions on cases like the one Gibson brought seem to really be a crapshoot.
Who are some other boutique brands making such blatant ripoffs?
I believe those agreements are headstock shape only. Fender lost the body shapes to public domain years ago.
"Hate" is what the Gibsonites call it when you point out flaws in the sacred cow. FWIW, I don't have any real feelings towards Gibson as a brand, other than 'I've tried a bunch of their guitars and they didn't stick'. Their current actions are massively ill-conceived though.
Because, in the last month, every action that comes out of the C-suite at Gibson makes people say "Jeeeeezus Chriiiiiist....".
Yeah, I have no idea.
Gibson coming out swinging then acting like they are stepping back to take a kinder, gentler approach by working out a collaborative licensing path smacks of spin to me.
I hope they see a pushback from the rest of the industry. A LP or 335 is as generic a shape by now as the station wagon is for cars. Gibson can proudly claim to have invented something so good that it became industry standard, but i dont see how there’s any policing it now. I also think that if they’re succesful, it will be the the buyers’ loss. I don’t want to be forced to buy Ford just to get a station wagon
I prefer to be an optimist, but I find it hard to disagree with you. I sure does look like they are playing a game of industrial psychological warfare.
Judging by the responses I am seeing here, it doesn't exactly look like it is good advertising for them.
Don't get me wrong, I wish them well.
I just hope they focus more on customer service and producing the best product for the price they can instead of seeing this as a war of attrition with their competition.