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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by BeeTL, May 13, 2009.
Have you built one yet?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Though I don't like patents I do like the design of the guitar and look forward to seeing and hearing it in action.
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.
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.
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.
(Edit- double post)
Looks like a Fret-King Esprit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
+++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...
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.
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...
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!
When I first saw that guitar shape today I thought of a Kay Vanguard for some reason.