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. ievans

    ievans Tele-Meister

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    I guess that's technically true, since Caliber is in Korea.

    I do want to clear one thing up from the older posts in this thread. The term "public domain" means something very specific in IP law.

    Wikipedia puts it pretty well: 'In a general context public domain may refer to ideas, information, and works that are "publicly available", but in the context of intellectual property law, which includes copyright, patents, and trademarks, public domain refers to works, ideas, and information which are intangible to private ownership and/or which are available for use by members of the public.'

    The owner of a work can explicitly release it to the public domain, or their rights can lapse due to time or because the rights weren't defended properly. "Moby Dick" was copyrighted at one point, but after a period of time the copyright expired and now it's in the public domain.

    Posting photos or drawings of a design doesn't mean you've forfeited all your rights, and the design isn't in the public domain at that point.

    If you want to trademark a design you created, that's a different process, but again just because you posted it somewhere doesn't mean it's free for anyone to use.

    Patents are a whole different beast altogether.
     
  2. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

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    The scope has narrowed since the OP, and I'm pursuing a trademark registration on the headstock only.
    That's another good example of a model similar to mine that preceeds the Big Al.
    All good points.

    Along those lines, I've mentioned that my primary goal with this thread is to inform.

    One of the most interesting and comprehensive articles I've read has been Shapes of Things: A Brief History of the Peculiar Behind-the-Scenes War Over Guitar Designs.

    This covers a LOT of ground on how things in the guitar biz have evolved with respect to patents and trademarks.
     
  3. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

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    I just remembered I never updated this thread.

    I got a nice little Valentine's Day present this year:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jimmyspaz

    Jimmyspaz Tele-Holic

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    First thing I thought of when I looked at the body design, not sure if this body shape is different enough for protection. As well , the headstock is essentially identical to the Calibre's pictured here.
     
  5. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

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    Did you see post #63?
     
  6. Gareth John

    Gareth John Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool that's really neat. Congrats on the patent. Any progress with body designs or was it just the headstock and logo you were going for?
     
  7. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    I wonder when someone is going to copy one of these. I should do this with my headstock design, simply because I love it so much. Might be a little too much like a PRS though.
    http://i.imgur.com/lWqQr.jpg
     
  8. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's

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    So... by that patent description, I could flip the design right-to-left and you couldn't sue me...
     
  9. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Pretty cool design!
     
  10. NastyMojo

    NastyMojo Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the body,but I just can't seem to get past the headstock :(
     
  11. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Problem with trying to patent anything is you /must not/ reveal anything publicly before you file for patent - and you have gone and published your designs on the Internet.
     
  12. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

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    Thanks to all for the kind words.

    I set out to document a process that is not well understood by many who are interested in the guitar business.

    If one reads my posts from beginning to end, I think this thread provides a nice little road map as to how the process works, so I think I achieved my goal.

    It's been fun!
    The "mark" is what is registered.

    The description is just there to help describe what the mark is.
     
  13. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

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    Good luck on project. A proper attorney in that specialty, and certainly not just an attorney, could help and the rest of us may not be on the same page with the law. :)

    You do know this could be very, very pricey but I do like your design through and through, especially the headstock. If you are willing to disclose this, is this "pending" or an actual patent, and how much did it cost? (not that I would ever want to do this, but just curious).
     
  14. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

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    The guitar headstock design is now a Registered Trademark: [​IMG]

    Once the bass mark is registered I expect I'll have a total cost of less than $2000, all in.
     
  15. 63dot

    63dot Friend of Leo's

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    Congrats, not bad on cost. What would the whole guitar cost and do you expect to have the patent stuff go through?

    I like your design and keep us posted.
     
  16. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    That letter states "bass guitar headstock outline". Does that mean you are only protected when used on a Bass Guitar?
     
  17. piece of ash

    piece of ash Friend of Leo's

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    ^^THIS^^

    The only people who know a lot about this subject... AND will tell you to pursue it, are the ones who stand to profit by it.
     
  18. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

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    No, it's a typo that will get corrected eventually.

    The bass headstock shape is different enough that it has been filed separately.

    My attorney is Patrick Richards, of Richards Patent Law.

    He is one of the most honest and ethical people I have ever met, and I am lucky to have him on my side.

    I pursued the Trademark because I had a little extra cash at the time, and I found the whole process really compelling.

    The nice thing is that I was able to put my name on guitar #1 without worrying about getting a C&D letter.

    :cool:
     
  19. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    Well alright, good for you. I wish you much success.
     
  20. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for this thread on registering a trademark. :D

    How much would you be willing to spend to defend this headstock shape?

    Here's an interesting couple of paragraphs from a William Cumpiano interview on the MIMF about his foray into tynex and carbon fiber. The point I think it makes is intellectual property is completely worthless if you haven't the finances to fight.

    I became intrigued in the use of carbon fiber during a past stage of my career. It was the result of the opportunity presented when a carbon-fiber tennis racquet production engineer with a love for guitars wandered into my shop and engaged me in conversation. He wanted to bounce a few ideas he had off me: he imagined that a secret link existed between traditional guitars and traditional tennis racquets. Both were optimized wooden structures under constant stress derived from tight strings. In both, acoustic considerations were key to optimum performance. The tennis players among you know a bit about the tennis racquet’s “sweet spot” which must be located in a certain spot on the racquet’s structure. Location of the spot requires knowledge of the vibration modes the racquet takes on when struck by the ball.

    Well, my knowledgeable visitor (Rich Janes, by name) had designed numerous racquets and hob-nobbed with numerous famous athletes. He was deeply steeped in the lore, history and romance of the game, as I was with the game of guitars. He said that tennis racquets had benefitted enormously from a new age of technological improvements in polymer chemistry. But he said that guitars remains stuck in the past and remain as backwards as laminated wooden racquets strung with gut. For one thing, tennis racquet strings dropped not only gut but also nylon strings ages ago, and were using a wide variety of other polymer-based strings, with all the qualities that make musical strings better: more elasticity, more tensile strength, more uniformity. Why not guitars? Rich and I formed a partnership and began to promote Tynex cord as a better classic G-string. But all we did was alert DuPont to the prospect of a market for the material for guitars. They then went over our heads and dealt directly with D’Addario, cutting us out. D’Addario sells Tynex G-strings on their Composite series of classic string sets.

    I had come to view sheets of compression-molded carbon fiber as perfect wood analogs. After all, wood is at its essence, longitudinally aligned carbon fibers in a lignin matrix. Its carbon fiber analog is nothing more than carbon fiber aligned in an epoxy matrix. The essence factor is what stands out: I saw compressed carbon fibre as being wood in its basic, essential form. The difference of course being that wood—besides carbon-based fiber and lignin—is an entire organic complex, staggering in its complexity--besides. Its complexity and variability is what makes it so unpredictable to the builder. Reduced to its essence, it was as if we could design this magically acoustic stuff, optimize the layout and formulation after some trial and error—and then simply duplicate the optimized material by repeating the same formula indefinitely.

    At the time compression molded carbon fibre was enormously expensive to prototype, but Rich had the connections and he produced a 1/16th sheet of 10 plies, with the plies layered up in a proprietary way which induced induce the same anisotropic characteristics as real wood, i.e. stiffer in one direction and less so in the other. I made several guitars with the material, with promising results, which we tried to interest Bob Taylor and Chris Martin and the Fender folks in. There was some interest, but they all were toying with the stuff on their own, and ended up pretty much ignoring us. Then we discovered that our patent was being infringed by the Rainsong Guitar company, but we had not the resources to defend it in court. So we abandoned the project. The carbon sheet material was expensive, difficult and problematic to use for individual luthiers, so eventually I put the entire matter behind me. I am still pursuing the idea of a braceless carbon fiber-topped guitar with some people that used to be principles at the Guild guitar factory, but it’s just a gleam in my eye right now. I ended up learning a lot about the material but in the end it proved to be a huge distraction from my own work.
     
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