Gibson licenses brand to Echopark Guitars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 6stringcowboy, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    Other than a little closeness of the E and A. No worse than a high dollar LP needing a bridge reset complete with newly drilled holes.
     
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  2. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Copyrights only cover things that don't have a function, so guitars are out. If an aspect of the design improves the function of something, you can get a utility patent and if it's aesthetic, you can get a design patent. The latter are difficult and expensive to get and only last 14 years.
     
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  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don’t get the Echopark thing at all. I know a guy who worked there for a bit right after they moved to MI. He brought a couple guitars to gigs and I checked them out. In my opinion they were junk. Extremely expensive junk.

    I have an LP Jr style guitar, and an LP Spc style guitar, both built pretty much to 50’s specs by a local luthier. They are both flat wicked amazing. The two of them put together cost me less than $1500. Set necks, one piece bodies and necks, nitro finishes, the whole nine yards. They are divine.

    I seriously thought the Echopark guitars I played were some kind of cheap, pacific rim fake relic things. When my guy told me they were actual hand made “boutique” instruments and what they cost, I was floored. I really couldn’t believe it.
     
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  4. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    great more licenced copies , just what we need , this makes my norland era seem legit!
     
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  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The Norlin era was legit.....there is a huge amount of classic rock music made on Norlin era guitars. Were the carves shallow? Yeah.
    Did Gibson clone ‘bursts??? Not until the very late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. I had a Jimmy Wallace edition special dealer order clone ‘burst.....very nice guitar with some beautiful figure in the top. Should have kept that one. There were a few dealers..3????... that pushed for the reissue ‘bursts by ordering such recreations.
     
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  6. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Judging by what you guys are saying, this is going to be interesting to see once Echpark start releasing "quality" guitars under the Gibson banner.
     
  7. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Holic

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    Have you heard of "lawsuit era guitars"?
    Here's a link to an interesting article:
    https://www.adkguitar.com/blogs/news/what-do-we-mean-when-we-say-lawsuit-guitar

    In 1977, Gibson’s parent company filed a lawsuit against Ibanez (essentially the Hoshino corporation) for copying their “open-book-style” headstock.
    An image of pre-lawsuit Ibanez (left) and post-lawsuit Ibanez. Notice the “open book” Gibson ripoff vs. the second design.
    The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Ibanez replaced the headstock with a revised design.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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  8. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Yes I am aware of that lawsuit. It was never brought to trial and therefore has no real relevance to the current lawsuits. Although I'll point out that Dean doesn't use the Gibson headstock.
    When Gibson was sending the letter posted below to their dealers detailing the respect they have for competitors who make distinctive products they were also importing stratocaster copies from Japan and selling them under the Epiphone brand.
    64921959_487319115366958_7614868958225855339_n.jpg
     
  9. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    I meant in relation to licensing Fender’s design for their copies. They didn’t need to do that so made their stupid Strat copies with impunity, which was an embarrassment to their legacy at the time.

    Once any design/technology patents run out, unless you’ve trademarked something in this way it’s out there to copy. There is nothing to protect except the quality of your own product, reputation and customer retention. The fact Gibson has received so much flak on those aspects might suggest why they’re hammering the trademarks now. But those trademarks are silouhettes. They aren’t an actual guitar. They’re a mark or a logo that’s based on a guitar they invented. They can’t protect the actual product design. But, lucky for them, you can’t make a guitar shaped like the Apple logo and you can’t shape one like their Les Paul silhouette logos...

    So let me rephrase, yes, Gibson registered trademarks to stop people copying their guitar designs, but technically, they have protected their guitars by creating logos that look like them. So unless other companies have done the same, they have no protection.
     
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  10. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Holic

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    Licensed by Gibson might add confusion in the market. I can see there will be fake makers on the Chinese websites adding stickers on les pauls falsely claiming they be licensed by Gibson.
     
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  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Now that's interesting. Thomann offered both authentic Gibsons in mass, and a knockoff, and still sold enough Gibsons to be a #2 or #3 retailer. That tells us something right there.
     
  12. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah, gotcha. So this explains why Gibson is going with the trademark argument. IMO, if they had done the appropriate thing and gotten a design patent for a Les Paul in 1952, then the shape should have entered the public domain in 1966!
     
  13. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Holic

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    People keep blaming Gibson and Fender for not doing the right thing back in the 50s and early 60s. The guitar industry was relatively small and there weren't a lot of players OR manufacturers.
    It wasn't until the Japanese started exporting cheap guitars to the states that anyone even considered that is might eventually become a problem. Remember, back in those days, the Japanese products imported into the USA were considered cheap junk. Disposable novelties.

    The Design Patent is a relatively new form of protection that only covers the aesthetics of a product or invention, not the functionality. It wasn't around when Gibson and Fender developed the Les Paul and Strat.

    Intellectual property law is gradually changing to accommodate things like three-dimensional trade marks, which is how Fender and Gibson have been successful in protecting their headstock designs as a part of their brand identity. More companies are now exploring the use of trade marks to protect their bodies and headstocks, rather than the design patent.

    Trade Secrets - Trade Secret protection only covers things that are "secret." The first one out in the marketplace, or the first photo on a forum, and that protection is gone.

    Trademarks/Trade Dress - Trademark protection covers distinctive, nonfunctional aspects of a mark or product shape or packaging that identify the source of the product. However, this is not ideal for guitar bodies because typically certain aspects, such as contours, cutaways, and the like, are functional, and fall outside of trademark law.

    Copyright - Copyright has similar issues to functionality as trademark, especially when it comes to things that are partially "expression" and partially "functional," like most guitar bodies.

    Patent - Expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to prosecute. Plus, requires a modicum of "newness" that is unanticipated in the prior art that is difficult to satisfy in many guitar shape-related cases. Design patents, which cover the design of a product, are similarly expensive and time-consuming to prosecute, and only last for a limited time.
     
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  14. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah, so I am slightly wrong. You CAN register a product shape as a trademark if it's not part of its function and it's distinctive enough, in the US at least... http://www.patenttrademarkblog.com/product-design-trademarked/

    That certainly applies to a V... Nothing functional about that!

    I'm not sure that's the same all over the world. But it looks like things have changed rather recently on product designs. This is a different thing to the trademarks but interesting nonetheless: https://www.dezeen.com/2016/08/04/1...uk-copyright-eames-hans-wegner-arne-jacobsen/
     
  15. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Um, I see this as Echopark becoming the new Custom shop builders without Gibson hiring or retraining staff. Same move as the Gibson/Flatiron deal in the early 1990s when Gibson wanted to start doing acoustic instruments again. By the mid 1970s Gibson couldn't make an acoustic guitar to save its life and left that part of the market pretty much by the late 1970s. They tried a few concepts but they failed. They put out a few items in the 1980s but it wasn't a successful endeavor. Nothing new in this move with Echopark.
     
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