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. Telepatio

    Telepatio Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    471
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Have you built one yet?
     
  2. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    546
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Again, I’m posting this for information and because I know more than a few people will find the process interesting, regardless of the outcome.

    Also, I suspect some people might not pursue protecting an idea because they are intimidated or think it’s too expensive, so I hope this thread will help provide more clarity in that area.

    All of the USPTO forms are online, so there’s nothing to say that you HAVE to use an attorney.

    For the do-it-your-selfer, here’s a link to the USPTO “Where do I start?” page.

    That said, I’m using an attorney because he is a friend and is also very reasonable in his approach and fee structure.

    As to why I would want to pursue protecting my design, there are really two reasons:

    1. I don’t want to infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property and risk being shut down

    2. If this develops into something of value over a period of years, I’d hate to think I had really screwed up by not spending a few extra bucks up front.

    So here’s the update for today:

    If I hadn’t posted my designs previously, my attorney would have advised against posting them immediately prior to pursuing a patent.

    However, it turns out in this case that posting the designs WAS A GOOD IDEA.

    WHY?

    Because we now know that pursuing a DESIGN patent would likely have been a waste of money.

    As it turns out, there are existing designs that I was not aware of that might have rendered my design un-defendable from a patent standpoint at some point down the road.

    It’s possible I could have pursued have been awarded a design patent only to have it be worthless.

    AM I DISCOURAGED?

    Nope.

    We still have other avenues to pursue, and we’ve eliminated one potential dead-end VERY early in the process.

    This is a GOOD thing.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  3. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    999
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    South of Seattle, WA
    BeeTL: I for one think this is a very interesting thread, and appreciate you sticking to your guns. I get it that this is in some sense an exploratory, intellectual exercise. I think that is worth it in its own right, and the aesthetic merits of your designs, and whether or not I like them, are beside the point.

    Carry on! I'll be most interested in what else you discover.
     
  4. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,871
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    BeeTL - I think the idea of this thread is great, but I don't think chopping a tele is worthy of a patent. However, I don't see anything wrong with trade marking your logo and peghead shape, because those are unique creations you came up with.
     
  5. shinigami747

    shinigami747 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    679
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    +1.
     
  6. tacodog

    tacodog Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    US
    Though I don't like patents I do like the design of the guitar and look forward to seeing and hearing it in action.
     
  7. martins3325

    martins3325 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    VA
    Very interesting thread..for two reasons 1) Your design looks very similar to one I am making ...at least the front portion...and 2) I had the same Idea about protecting it. But it seems really "trademarking" is where fender and gibson carry their stick ..not design patents..and they seem to apply more to headstocks than bodies. ..thats just what I came away with in my limited research.

    Here is a photoshop mock up I made..using the actual mahogany body cutout i made...the completed guitar is on wait till I get a damn drum sander!! Long term project..but photoshop..is nice to see what it may look like when done..before I finish so I can change things im not happy with..Its much more LP in set up..with pieces I blended from other designs I like..Firebird, Clapton Cut Explorer, and Harmony Bobcat.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. 62_Inca_Esquire

    62_Inca_Esquire Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,541
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I dig the body shape - hopefully you wont run into problems with Ernie Ball. Yours is different enough that it should be ok, but I thought it should be something to be aware of.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. BlueJim

    BlueJim Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    501
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey, US
    I would also love to see more business oriented postings whether that's a matter of pursuing your own business ideas like this posting or looking at business models of guitar manufacturers and boutique makers. I felt the water in this area a bit in the Bad Dog forum and found it a little chilly to be honest.

    Please be sure to let us know as much as you can without compromising your ability to protect your designs.
     
  10. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,288
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    (Edit- double post)
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  11. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,288
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    Looks like a Fret-King Esprit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  12. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,423
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Albuquerque, USA
    Very similar........

    ......[​IMG]
     
  13. 62_Inca_Esquire

    62_Inca_Esquire Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,541
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX

    Thanks for doing the composite photo - it definitely demonstrates the similarity I mentioned better than my separate photos . I think it's "different enough" to avoid problems, but I'm not a lawyer. However, it could certainly be argued that it is "derivative" of the Ernie Ball, even if unintentional.
     
  14. TDPRI

    TDPRI Retired

    Posts:
    11,973
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    -
    Admin Post
    I have filed dozens of applications with the USPTO without an attorney and I have received plenty of registrations. I'd say I'm 50% or there abouts.

    The most important thing to do is research for previous designs FIRST -- before filing.

    As I said, I'm 50/50 on registrations. The biggest problem I've run into is when I "think" I've researched things really well only to have some obscure objection arise during the comment period from people that have a prior claim, but they've not taken one step toward registering their wording. The only thing they've done is hire a monitoring company to watch for competing applications.
     
  15. martins3325

    martins3325 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    23
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    VA
    Wow that is pretty similar...I had never seen one of those before..I like what I came up with better..but I guess it goes to show there is not a whole lot left to come up with that anyone would likely find aestetically pleasing..given the limitations of would be comfortable and actually balance well.
     
  16. Jarrod

    Jarrod TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    14
    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    ozark mountains
    it is a bit like the Albert Lee, but that's a sweet body either way. if I saw one in a store and it played well, i'd probably buy one if i had the cash.

    hell, i'd been thinking about putting together a collection of Jaguarish/Jazzmaster/Jagstang/Gibson Firebird type body shapes and that would be perfect. I even thought of the Albert Lee guitar because I assumed it would be kinda Tele-ish. Yeah, I'd definitely buy one of yours if I could work it out. And on that level, I think maybe all of these designs go back to the Jazzmaster/Jaguar shape anyway and that's just cool.

    As many people that have copied past designs, I wouldn't worry about which guitar it most resembles unless you actually ran into a conflict. At least you didn't order a bunch of strat bodies from Warmoth and put your name on them. I think it's cool. I'd be proud of it if I designed it.
    I'd hate to see someone not follow through on something like that because it resembles a guitar that resembles another guitar. That would be lame.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  17. benbo

    benbo Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    1,035
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Hampton, Va
    +++1 Kinda the reason for writing a song, putting it on paper and media in a sealed envelope and mailing it to yourself and not opening it. That way no one but you has seen it and you can fight it out in court if anyone else uses that idea. I think...:confused:
     
  18. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    546
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    I thought about starting a new thread but decided to resurrect this one instead.

    After reviewing the standards the guitar industry follows I have applied to register my "bottle opener" headstock design with the USPTO.

    http://tarr.uspto.gov/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85237520&action=Request+Status

    http://tarr.uspto.gov/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85237521&action=Request+Status

    There is no question that the bottle opener headstock design distinguishes a Lowe Custom Guitar from any other brand on the US market today, and registering this design is consistent with my business goals for LCG over the long term.

    I'm excited to see this process moving along...:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  19. mattdean4130

    mattdean4130 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,465
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    Coffs Harbour, Australia
    Unfortunately, designing a new guitar shape these days is like coming up with an original internet idea. Most everything good and profitable have already been done...
    Although, maybe that's the attitude of someone who does not see the same things you see. Good luck!
     
  20. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    20,428
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    When I first saw that guitar shape today I thought of a Kay Vanguard for some reason.
     
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.