Designed a new T-style guitar, now I'm going to protect it

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by BeeTL, May 13, 2009.

  1. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    12,316
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    I think the body looks a lot like some of Backlunds designs he has posted here.
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,449
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Jack hit the nail on the proverbial head....

    Point is, virtually everything imaginable has been tried.... if you're going to make a name ... it has to be based on quality.... design... well that's art... that's it..

    rk
     
  3. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    12,295
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    44°55'09.9"N 79°25'39.1"W
    Admin Post
    Exactly. There are some pretty ugly guitars out there... (BC Rich :twisted:) and people buy them. So either ugly appeals to some people or the guitars are just plain GOOD.
     
  4. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

    Posts:
    12,437
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Bingo!
     
  5. Mister B

    Mister B Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    560
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I used to deal with patent lawyers all the time in one of my previous jobs and was frequently amazed at what you could patent, or at least what the patent lawyer would tell me I could patent. If you're so inclined and have deep enough pockets, you can get some kind of IP protection for just about anything (unless you're 60 years too late like Fender). The issue is does your invention have any real commercial value? Patent lawyers aren't the best people to ask, you have to do your research and make that judgement yourself. Personally, I don't see much value in your designs (I wouldn't buy a guitar based on them no matter how well made) but that's just my opinion, others will disagree. Good luck with your project.
     
  6. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    546
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Let me address a few ideas here:

    1. I should have said ATTEMPT to protect…there are no guarantees

    2. I am pursuing a DESIGN patent, not a UTILITY patent

    3. I am pursuing a TRADEMARK application as well

    4. The application and legal costs are not prohibitive, at least initially

    5. As I understand it, I have one year from the date of public disclosure to pursue the DESIGN patent, so I haven’t lost the rights to my work by posting here, but the clock is now (has been) ticking

    If you’d like to read up on how to LOSE trademark status for your design, there is some interesting reading here:

    http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91162497&pty=OPP&eno=13

    Again, I look at this as an opportunity to learn and possibly protect an idea that MAY have some long-term business value...who knows?

    The worst case scenario is that I will have a tax write off for 2009.

    As a matter of interest, here’s a fun one to take a look at, Patent D169062, filed over a year after the model was in production:

    http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/patd169062.pdf

    And, believe me, I know the world has changed a little since 1952.
     
  7. Hollmanp90

    Hollmanp90 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,673
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton County
    I like your headstock....

    when you was trying to give it to that promo. thing here a few weeks ago I thought it was the best design for that beer company......

    Is this the first time you have showed this design?

    I've seen someone else use this besides the "caliber guitar" too. I just can't recall....maybe a japan model.
     
  8. brandt

    brandt Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    526
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I personally hold 3 design patents and in my role at a company I co-founded we held 7 utility patents and have a lot of experience in this area as a buyer of legal services.

    Remember the advice of slickschoppers - a patent or trademark only gives you the right to sue and defend your claim. If you don't defend it is considered abandoned and the design is open to the public.

    Save yourself some coin and do it yourself.
     
  9. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    546
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Just so we're clear, this thread is intended to be about PROCESS, and is intended to be informative.

    Since this sub-forum seems to be the most active as it relates to design/build, this seemed to be the most appropriate area to post.

    I'm looking at this as an opportunity to discuss an aspect of T-style guitar building that I don't see covered much.

    As far as "art" vs. "quality"...if you look at my other threads, you'll see that "art" is where my head is at.

    And I believe art has value...how much is up to the market to determine.

    Finally, the expense is relatively limited, at least initially.

    Whether it's worth it in the long run remains to be seen, but I think it will be an interesting process to share regardless of the outcome.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  10. Mister B

    Mister B Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    560
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Perhaps we’ve been too harsh on BeeTL (although it was inevitable that this thread would turn into a critique of his design). I’m not familiar with the US IP system but from what others have said it seems that a design patent is equivalent to our design registration in the UK. If that’s the case then go for it (it isn't that expensive to apply, at least that's the case in the UK). Despite the negative comments it’s better to be safe than sorry (I seem to remember Leo Fender being told that his Telecaster design looked like a canoe paddle).

    The fact is that there is a dearth of new guitar designs so we should congratulate BeeTL for his efforts, even if we don’t like the result much. Let’s face it; Leo Fender got a lot right 60 years ago, arguably nobody has bettered his designs yet (Ken Parker has come closest in my opinion).
     
  11. chuck smith

    chuck smith TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Or you can make as many as you want for yourself and sell some if someone wants to buy one, all without lawyers, patents and all that nonsense... I admire your creative forthought... Just keep doing what your doing and forget about the logistics :)
     
  12. jwsamuel

    jwsamuel Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    3,965
    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Location:
    Upper Holland, PA
    Not true. You can still get a trademark. We do it all the time where I work. As long as you can show you were using the design before anyone else, you are fine with trademark registration.

    To the OP...take your legal advice from an intellectual property attorney. As far as your plans, I say that as long as you believe in what you are doing, go for it. You are not the first person who has been advised not to pursue a business idea. Remember that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak offered their designs to Hewlett-Packard but were told there was no market for a small computer.

    Jim
     
  13. Rabog

    Rabog Former Member

    Posts:
    647
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    Well, I'd be interested to hear how you get on....keep me posted for one....whether it's necessary, worth the effort or money or not.

    Good on you!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  14. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    12,295
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    44°55'09.9"N 79°25'39.1"W
    Admin Post
    Personally I like the design and I don't think anyone was being harsh. It has turned out to be a pretty good discussion with a lot of varying opinions. A lot of points have been brought up that many people wouldn't consider at first.

    BeeTL - again, I like the design and I love some of the art that you've done on your guitars. Keep up the good work.
     
  15. Astro1176

    Astro1176 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    908
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    As others have said, it seems like a waste of money to pay attorneys and patent people a load of money until your business is under way and the product is beginning to be successful. However comfortable and great sounding and innovative a new guitar is, the only reason people copy it is because they can sell at very least hundreds, which means the original product is selling at very least thousands (more likely millions - has anyone even started trying to copy Parker Fly yet?)

    In other words, unless the process is dirt cheap or you just don't know what to do with your money, it might be as well in practical terms to wait until you can see the product beginning to take off and be stocked in guitar shops all round the country before doing the legals.

    Making a guitar successful imho has a lot more to do with aggressive marketing and luck with which bands use your products than with the inherent design qualities of the guitar. Sure it has to be a competent guitar design with some good features, but there's already a lot of those around.
     
  16. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,117
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Gainesville, Florida
    Hey, another HCEGer who is on TDPRI! Excellent!


    ...

    PM me.
     
  17. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    6,638
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    Legaly, If you post your idea in public before applying for patent there will be no way to protect it.
     
  18. ehawley

    ehawley Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,553
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Keyport, New Jersey
    Hope you got a provisional patent before you posted them here. If not you cannot get a patent now. They were made public! Preeb is right and I deal ALOT with patents. GoHERE to answer all your questions. Same in Canada.
    Your not alone...alot of people don't understand that you can't make an idea public and then go for a patent unless you have a provisional patent in place which is good for 1 year. After that year you have had to apply for the patent. Prior to that you can test your Idea on others as long as you have non-disclousers signed by those individuals prior to disclouser. That's the law.
     
  19. BAW4742

    BAW4742 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,537
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland's Eastern Shore
  20. tacodog

    tacodog Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    US
    If I recall, displaying your idea in public before filing for international patents removes all possibility of filing for a patent.

    In other words, you may be protected in the US, but I doubt you're protected in other countries. And I don't know if one can patent a guitar shape. Trademark, maybe, but if you don't have any sales or resources to hire lawyers to storm the castle should one copy your design, then the trademark doesn't have teeth.

    The US patent system is backwards from the rest of the world anyway, and of course a patent attorney would encourage you to protect your idea: that's how they get paid. I'd create like mad and see which designs win. By then, you have a name and a reputation to build your business case on.

    And that's something no one can patent.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.