Gibson going after copies

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by pdmartin, Sep 13, 2019 at 11:02 PM.

  1. pdmartin

    pdmartin Tele-Meister

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    25C9FAA8-22EA-4220-8C19-EE472C29D4AE.jpeg
    It’s interesting that Gibson is going after other manufacturers for “copying”.
    Here is a 1941 APP. Notice any similarity?
     
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  2. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Friend of Leo's

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    I guess the Gibson philosophy is "copies for me but not for thee".
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The brand name thing means moot anyway. Either you have a great guitar in your hands that plays, sounds and looks how you personally like it or you don't.
    With the prices they charge i'm not surprised they are so passionate about maintaining the illusion of superiority via their brand name.
     
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  4. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Holic

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    They are going after trademark infringements. They have to, otherwise they loose the right to defend their trademarks.
    It's the law.
    Lots of companies do it if they want to try and protect what is theirs. Fender has done it among others.
     
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  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Every grocery store in town has their own brand name product that is a copy of others products. I wonder why the same rules don't apply to water crackers, biscuits, cheese spread, breakfast cereal etc?
    I'm just happy the no name underpants are as good as the brand name ones these days.
    No more chaffing or failing elastic bands and I can buy more gear with the savings..
     
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  6. pdmartin

    pdmartin Tele-Meister

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    Funny thing is - the design was offered to Gibson in 1941 and they rejected the concept, then in 1952 brought out the
    “Les Paul”.
     
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  7. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson has trademarks. They're being challenged, but for now, they're presumed valid. That's why they can go after copies that they claim are infringing.

    App (O. W. Appleton) had no trademark and couldn't have gotten one. You have to have a product for sale in interstate commerce to be able to register a trademark. Making a guitar for yourself that you've never offered for sale doesn't qualify.
     
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    That's what App claimed, but he has no evidence that he ever approached Gibson. He also claimed that when Gibson came out with the Les Paul, they sent him a letter showing their brochure to him and saying that they should have listened to him back then...but he got mad and threw away the rejection letter. Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

    He also claimed that he tried to patent it because the only solidbody electrics back then were small lap steels. That's a crock too. Paul Tutmarc's AudioVox, Rickenbacker and a few others had regular solidbody electrics out by the mid-1930s.

    He built a solidbody single cutaway electric guitar. Beyond that, I don't believe any of his claims.
     
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Other than the Slingerland which came out several years before Appleton built his.

    Also, why don't they consider D'Angelico archtops copies of Gibson? They show more similarity than the App and Les Paul.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 5:59 AM
  10. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    That’s highly dependant on which side of the brand name you are.
    Also never heard of App and that guitar looks like nothing I have ever seen before, not even close
     
  11. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, and no.

    There is no law here, at least there is no law that stipulates a builder cannot build & sell a guitar with a open book headstock or a single cut LP style shape. There is only lawsuits and threats of lawsuits. A number of them Gibson has lost in the past yet, by law, Gibson is still allowed to file as many lawsuits/threats as they want.

    This is abuse of IP laws, trolling, pure and simple.

    If the intention of trade dress was that one company could own the shape of an instrument for time eternal simply through threat of lawsuit then it's a shame everyone didn't get on board 100 years ago where it seems they actually learned something in ethics class. What a world it would be, one company could build a tenor sax, one company has rights to the dreadnought, only one brand of cello's/violins/etc, even the size of a ****ing drum could be considered trademark by these arguments.

    No thanks, I think it's clear the original intent of our laws regarding design was that you had a definite period of protection and when that period was up the design became public domain which forces you & everyone to eventually have a competitive marketplace. Instead we have a world where, if you have the funds, you can use law & lawyers at your discretion to threaten everyone you deem to be too competitive.
     
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  12. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Yup, you are right, it is extremely difficult to come up with a guitar design that does NOT look like a LP.
     
  13. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Because General Mill's customers are large grocer franchises - they aren't going to bite the hand that feeds. Folks poaching Gibson's rights aren't customers of Gibson.
     
  14. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    There's a bell curve in design and there always has been. It's more so for instruments than anything because they have visual aesthetic along with their sonic purpose.

    That bell curve has a "golden mean" through time where certain designs become classic. That's why there aren't a hundred companies changing the headstock on a violin, because the scroll is a classic and considered the most pleasing shape.

    So, the right thing to do here would be to force everyone else to design an oblong version of a classic even though it's obvious what the purpose of the oblong shape is?

    No thanks, that's flat out stupid. The market is still free to be creative, if it's not free to be competitive then it's a rigged market.
     
  15. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Observe all the protected shapes, textures and even colors thru-out most all products of interest, established by tonages of court rulings against counterfeiting. If you are trying to pass as someone or something else, its a violation and not legal.
     
  16. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    If you can prove, in court, than an instrument with a different label & brand name on it is trying to be passed off as a different brand then you can shoot down 90% of the instruments being made today as "counterfeit."
     
  17. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    No, if you can convince a court, you can shoot down 90%. Proof and courts aren't mutually exclusive.
     
  18. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Oooh, geez, don't get too semantic there....:rolleyes:
     
  19. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The Gibsonmeister. Gunning for the copies.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I nearly agreed with you but Id argue and a lot of people would too that you are comparing something that can be patented and something that can be trademarked. The shape of a Les Paul or any electric guitar isnt critical to its function to the point it needs to be that shape to function. Dreadnoughts, sax, violin, etc the shape is important to their function and there isnt a great deal you can do to change that because there isnt a lot to change that isnt function.

    Patents expire and become public domain, trademarks can be kept forever but you need to protect them. If a company makes a close copy of a gibson but can still be distinguished by some differences, gibson should still attempt to sue. If they dont another company could then think its ok to make a closer copy and when gibson trys to sue them the new company can say well you didnt shoot down this other copy so now its public domain (in a very loose nutshell). This is why gibson has lost some lawsuits in the past IIRC and its the same reason why if you try to trademark something years after its conceived it will likely be rejected (another gibson failing).

    The profile of a guitar especially the headstock is cosmetic (and obviously ergonomic but that goes for everything you have to hold to use). So the shapes and profiles come under trademark because they perform no specific function.
     
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