whats the current status on Fender trying to trademark body shapes?

AJ Love

Senior Member
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4,371
I am wondering how things are going on the legal front, and I'm concerned for the smaller luthier companies that imho make a superior product and offer superior customer service to Fender...
 

george4908

Member
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2,015
I wonder is Fender is considering going even further and trademaking some of the hardware. It just occured to me after seeing the new Lentz designs that they are still using the basic Tele bridge and control plate. God know how nasty things will get if they try to start cracking down on that.
 

Scrutinizer

Member
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1,323
Originally posted by george4908
I wonder is Fender is considering going even further and trademaking some of the hardware. It just occured to me after seeing the new Lentz designs that they are still using the basic Tele bridge and control plate. God know how nasty things will get if they try to start cracking down on that.
An attempt to trademark the tele bridge would not be successful, assuming someone had enough $$ to pay the lawyers to fight it. They would argue that the tele bridge plate is the only way to achieve that particular tone.

Gibson attempted to trademark the slope shoulder acoustic guitar shape - another manufacturer successfully challenged this, citing Gibson's own advertisement claiming that the slope shoulder body shape yielded a tone unachievable with any other shape.
 

Shades

Member
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3,378
Originally posted by Suhr
you could say the same thing about the Strat body shape since it is a very functional design. But the bottom line is they have not tried to stop anyone from doing it in 50 years, I did ask about it before I started and was told by higher ups that there is nothing they could do even if they didnt like the idea, they just told me to stay away from the ball end on the headstock.
Also, in the due diligence in defense of trademark dept., every cease and desist that they have sent to makers using the headstock who were also using the body asked only that they cease and desist on the headstock. This proves that they were aware of the use of both and chose to defend the headstock only.
 

Gary F.

Member
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421
As I've become more comfortable with the 'wisp' headstock shape of Suhr and Anderson, the less emotionally attached I've become to the Fender 'ball' shape. The strat body shape though, is sublime, and i'm glad it is not the subject matter of Fender's ire. I would hope any reputable builder could live with developing an alternate headstock design; it seems fair to me.

Gary
 

Shades

Member
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3,378
Originally posted by Gary F.
The strat body shape though, is sublime, and i'm glad it is not the subject matter of Fender's ire.
Gary
Well, currently it is. Despite the fact that they defended only the headstock for the entire history of the company(and that the a lack of due dilegence in protecting a trademark is legal grounds for loss of that trademark,) they are attempting to trademark the body shapes 50 years "after the fact."
 

AJ Love

Senior Member
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4,371
because Of Fender's current greed in trying to trademark the body shapes, I will be very hesitant to purchase a Fender product again... the Suhr T guitar that I recently bought smokes any Fender I ever played anyways (Custom Shop, Vintage or production)
 

Gary F.

Member
Messages
421
But the bottom line is they have not tried to stop anyone from doing it in 50 years, I did ask about it before I started and was told by higher ups that there is nothing they could do even if they didnt like the idea, they just told me to stay away from the ball end on the headstock.



Um, disregard my post, then, Shades. John's post led me to believe the body shape was not up for grabs. With the evidence of their lack of intervention over the strat body style for the past 50+ years , i can't imagine Fender will prevail, despite their deep pockets. I also can't imagine that Gibson's victory over PRS won't be overturned.
 

The Eristic

Member
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1,698
Originally posted by apalazzolo
FYI Here is a list of parties that either had opposed or are currently opposing Fender's trademark application for the shape of the stratocaster body (from the USPTO website):

Peavey Electronics Corporation

The ESP Guitar Company

GIBSON GUITAR CORP.

HOSHINO GAKKI CO., LTD AND HOSHINO USA,
Whoah, talk about BIG guns.
 

eric102673

Member
Messages
689
I'm actually surprised there aren't more of the smaller guys on the list. A lot of big talk but not too many folks stepping up to the plate it would seem. Interesting to see a couple guitar stores on that list.

-e.
 

CS'56

Member
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1,256
Originally posted by eric102673
I'm actually surprised there aren't more of the smaller guys on the list. A lot of big talk but not too many folks stepping up to the plate it would seem. Interesting to see a couple guitar stores on that list.

-e.
Me too!
Melancon, Grosh, Warmoth, USAGC
 

tonefreak

Member
Messages
2,461
Too bad more people aren't involved:

Grosh
Anderson
Tyler
Lentz (I guess he's not making 'S' Types any more)

Just to name a few... these builders have made a pretty big name for themselves with the 'classic S type' as part of their line. There strength in numbers because the more that get involved the louder your voice!
 

mude

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,632
I'm actually surprised there aren't more of the smaller guys on the list. A lot of big talk but not too many folks stepping up to the plate it would seem. Interesting to see a couple guitar stores on that list.
Also, just so people know, JS Technologies (on the list) is Suhr. Thanks.

Evan.
 

John C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,925
Originally posted by AJ Love
I would hope G&L is fighting this...G&L is more Fender than Fender!
Back when this first came up last year I'm pretty sure Dave McClaren (sp?) of BBE/G&L posted on the "Guitars by Leo" discussion site that "G&L didn't have to worry about this" - but he didn't (or wouldn't) elaborate. Maybe they already have some arrangement with FMIC dating back to all the cross-filed lawsuits about Leo using his name on the G&L guitars.
 




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