"Gibson loses Flying V trademark case in EU court"

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by omahaaudio, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz TDPRI Member

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    6123AuM+aQL._SX569_.jpg
    This is a real flying V ;):p:D
     
  2. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    There are several comments saying gibson should be going after the asian counterfeits but I dont think it would be productive. They dont really respect trademark patents on the west side of the globe and make all kinds of knockoffs so its not just the guitar industry. This case also roots back to 2010 so it doesnt really have a lot to do with the new CEO or current developments. Even if they do pursue these legal cases which are nescessary to protect thier trademarks, they can still work on making the brand/products better while the lawyers keep themselves busy.
     
  3. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Nope, they all print paper Euros and mint the coins.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Gibson didn't "bother" Framus with a lawsuit, Gibson applied for IP rights in the EU and they were granted by the EU.

    Then two years later Framus filed the lawsuit.

    I find it interesting that in this case it was not Gibson trying to stop a company from making Gibson copies, it was another company that wanted to take away Gibson's right to its own design.

    Seems like we could all get along fine if companies just stuck with designing their own products instead of making copies of other companies products.
    Or not, since knockoff products are now accepted by the masses.

    I had a cool beat up and modded Ibanez Destroyer years ago and now have a real Gibson Explorer, also beat up and modded.
    So it's not like I never buy copies, I just observe the business world attempting to protect IP rights as a normal part of doing business, rather than some evil scheme to hurt and harm those poor companies that want a piece of IP for free.
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Nobody gets my jokes!
    I feel so misunderstood!

    Notably, those and other countries in Europe have a long history of designing and manufacturing beautiful and fine things that are distinctly different from their neighbors designs.
    I and many love the cultural differences, and I and many mourn when any cultural icons drift into disuse, replaced by Chinese replica multi-culti mediocrity.

    I guess it's a bit of a hot topic in the EU, but we all got our hot topics, and in the world we all face them apart, yet together.

    As a 'Murican I've long loved going into city neighborhoods where foreign cultures and customs are followed and upheld to the best of the inhabitants abilities. Some do the melting pot thing, but others try their best to maintain their own cultural heritage in their new foreign land. And since I can't afford to jet to all those places, I appreciate the families who bring samples of their cultures to communities I can visit easily.
    Sure I only get food and sometimes stories of their home land struggles, but I love foreign cultures as much as or even more than my own. I suppose I've always seen cultural identity as something to be proud of, partly because I have none of my own, being the son of an Immigrant in the US.
     
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  6. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    In most countries with a trademark system, you lose that right by not registering the shape as a trademark while it's still unique. Gibson introduced the Flying V in 1958 and waited decades to apply for trademarks on the shape. By the time the registration was granted, there were enough similarly-shaped models on the market that it was no longer unique. By then, Framus should have had the right to produce that design because, as they argue, the registration should never have happened in the first place. The European courts apparently agree.

    If Dean decides to challenge the U.S. registration of the Flying V shape, they're likely to succeed for the same reason: Gibson didn't file until 2014, and there's a clear precedent in what happened to Fender's late attempt to trademark the Strat and Tele shapes. (If Dean wins, that may also mean Framus will start selling the WH-1 here, which they don't right now.)

    None of that changes the fact that Gibson invented the shape and was the first to put it on the market. They deserve all the credit. The other fact is that there's a set of rules for protecting a mark that Gibson utterly failed to follow, and they lost something valuable in the process. As I tell my kid when she gets burned by not following the directions: too bad, so sad.
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Right, all that is business.
    Gibson wasn't foolish when the time was right to put up no trespassing signs, because nobody wanted to trespass.
    When the trespassing started it was already technically too late, yet legally they had the right to try.

    The odd thing is to me how many are angry at the designer for doing what the law basically requires them to do.
    Sure, other companies have the same right to file lawsuits so they can copy other companies products, but how is one righteous and the other vile?

    Nobody seems angry at companies who file lawsuits to stake their own claims on other designers property.

    Both are just doing business late, so why is the original designer made out to be the bad guy?
    More like a feeding frenzy to take pot shots at Gibson that a group of morally upright defenders of the common good.
    Seems to be all about picking a target to fire hate at.

    I wonder if in 30 years we will be seeing robotuners on all new guitars?
     
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  8. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    See, here's the part Gibson's leadership doesn't understand. I did the same thing to see if I like Jazzmasters.

    $2000 for a Flying V is way to big of an investment for a guitar you might not like, but $100 for a pawnshop special? A lot more of us will take the chance on that, and upgrade if we feel the need to. And that's a sale for Gibson that they otherwise wouldn't have had.
     
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  9. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Sure, and I have no doubt Gibson's legal team told the executives that it was a gamble, what would be at stake and the probable outcome. Executives tend to disregard the odds and the costs of collateral damage when they have dollar signs in their eyes.

    I think people are more teed off about the way they went about it. It's one thing to say "we have IP rights and we intend to defend them" and another to pull a stunt like the Agnesi video. As my wife has been known to remind me when I piss her off, "It's not what you said, it's the way you said it."

    I don't see it that way. Framus has a business interest in using the V shape and a belief that EUIPO wrongly granted Gibson's a trademark on it based on a half-century of not defending it. EUIPO and, eventually, the courts agreed, which means the design stopped being Gibson's property in Europe when they failed to register it. Framus doesn't actually get anything out of this beyond the ability to produce the WH-1 without being sued. They can't go after other makers of V-shaped guitars based on the shape alone.

    That's how society operates these days. You either adore something or you're a monkey flinging poop at it. How we got here is a not-safe-for-TDPRI topic.
     
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  10. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Holic

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    I've just been checking prices of Gibson & Fender guitars.
    Ignoring signature models.
    Top of the range Fender £1,800; top of the range Gibson £5,400.
    And Gibson wonder why other companies make cheap Gibson copies.
     
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  11. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

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    I don't get this. Gibson sued PRS for infringement too. The Fenders have never chased down on BODY design. Numerous brands to day have exact copies of the original body shapes from either company. It's the HEADSTOCK design still that remains a trademark, as well as the logo. People have made Telecaster bodies for ages without getting sued. It's the headstock design that makes the level of height of originality. Not the flying V.

    FLying V for what it is worth, was the first guitar that didn't matter if left handed or right handed people played it. It was only the knobs that ended up on top. The "ergonomics" where equally as good or as bad for left handed players. Me myself thinks that that odd shape buck neck dive (as if Gibson ever had one, but some SG's and Firebirds has) and I owned one very briefly. The all mahogany body, and neck caused a certain "flavor" to the decaying sustaing part of the tone, and the pickups where actually different on that one, than the rest of the les pauls, SG's etc. It has a certain "bloom" to the tone built in, that may or may not be part of the actual design. I remember it was very easy to get some controlled feedback out of it and play with it a not so damm loud levels. And it was NOT microphonic feedback from the pickups.

    When sitting down I wedged it between my tighs and you could hold it there and do large and afast vibratos without it wiggling and bouncing around, like others do. But...as it is. A Les Paul doesn't wiggle or bounce around either, regardless you have them on strap standing up or sitting down. No need to wedge a Les Paul between anything at all...

    It's only when the hard rockers became harder, that it had that LOOK that sort of looked the part, metal, hard rock, glam rock, sleaze and so on. The sound is reminiscent of SG with "all mahogany" vibe to it, but I have found any Flying V's having the same out of tune problems that most SG's or Les Pauls have.

    But that's about it.

    On top of that it is NOT the most uncomfortable guitar I've played. Numerous wider body Gretches, archtops, large jumbo acoustics, Rickenbacker basses, ric guitars, tops this several light years in that regard. Flying Vs doens't hold any candles regardles bad ergonomics, uncomfortable ones, compared to those ones. Let's not go into the bass guitar world.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  12. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Holic

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    I wonder if the suit against Dean was motivated by the knowledge that they were about to lose the EU case. Timing is suggestive.


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  13. jimmyv723

    jimmyv723 Tele-Meister

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  14. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gibson needs to go under and then get bought out by a wealthy guitar player who will actually build good guitars because they're focused on their product's quality, rather than their stock, and how much they can increase profits each quarter.
     
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  15. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson has registered trademarks on all their body shapes and headstock designs in the USA (as far as im aware). Fender lost the right to protect their body shapes worldwide for the same reason Gibson lost the right to protect the flying V this time in the EU. They tried to register it too late after it had already been copied by other companies.
     
  16. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry. It didn't seem funny to me.
     
  17. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect they would go broke (again) quicker than the titanic sinking if they did. Years of manufacture, redesigns all generate necessary churn and "collections". Without that I doubt any guitar company could survive.
     
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  18. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Whatever one may think about the EU, it is not about erasing cultural differences nor is it having that effect. It just takes a short trip from Rome to Paris and then on to London (or Madrid if you’re more southerly inclined) to see that cultural heritages and traditions are still intact. One currency, several common policies, a free movement area, 28 Member States (possibly 27 in the near future) with their heritages.
     
  19. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks - first time I've got one of those! :)
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm commenting entirely about the soul of this and sister threads which relate to stuff we used to make, stuff that was made and imbued with the cultures ethics, values, esthetics and capabilities.
    Certainly one can go on vacation and see that Rome and Paris are not the same.

    Interestingly, take apart a 200yo French violin, a 200yo German violin, and a 200yo Italian violin; and there in the carved wood you can see that those cultures are not the same.

    What we are discussing is the fact than we are moving toward a future where every product will be made in China, and the one corner of a cultures heritage that is the trades persons craftsmanship, will be lost forever. Sorry, craftspersonship isn't yet a word.

    WRT the money, I had wealthy family friends as a kid that could afford to travel round the world and brought me foreign money for a collection.
    To my observation, cultures choose cultural icons to decorate their legal tender, which is often a beautiful representation of cultural heritage as well as being art that gets passed from hand to hand.

    While "stuff" isn't as important as people, if you are a crafts person or a trades person, you may spend you entire life putting your whole heart and soul into the "stuff" you make.

    I am that sort of person, I've built boats and furniture, restored antique houses and furniture, repaired and restored guitars and violins.

    As I believe an Irish person said about the loss of some traditional corner of culture: "Our like will not be there again".

    WRT Gibson getting hate for taking required legal action against the floods of fake Gibson and Gibson copy products that now outnumber Gibson production; I would ask:
    Do we want to simply hand over all our trades and crafts peoples loving labor to China?

    Maybe many buyers of stuff have no idea of the love that a trades person may put into their work.
    I do see that quality of even the products made in countries historically known for fine quality goods has gone downhill.
    This is also sad, and is hard to understand.
    I think that our growing choices to buy cheap instead of buying quality has eroded the ideal of building quality.
    It seems we face many losses of good and increases of lousy, and I suppose the trades people losing their jobs and their pride is fairly insignificant.

    Yet a proud workforce is good for culture.
    Unsung plebes who labor with care to provide the more wealthy of their community with fine comforts are a part of culture.
    These skilled laborers are being swept into the trash by our move to buy Chinese knockoff products.
    And yes, the seeming loss of pride in the workforce is a part of the problem, and hard to address.

    Interestingly, my wife's family lives in the EU for most of the year, and when they travel they go to tourist destinations to see "culture".
    Museums are great, but what I love for culture is the people out in public, in cafe's and restaurants, in art galleries and at live music shows, on public transportation or shopping for groceries.

    If Western culture gradually eliminates the vast array of trades people, and becomes a sort of historic record simulation of what once was, maybe a series of expensive recreational venues; to me that is a loss.
     
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