Guitar Wars!! Gibson threatens Heritage Guitars (Kalamazoo), Heritage strikes back and files suit

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by deytookerjaabs, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,811
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    In a recent statement from Heritage Guitars, which was the company started by former employees when Gibson left Kalamazoo:



    Prior statement from Gibson's CMO regarding IP lawsuits:

    Gibson's statement is ironic, seeing as their first big PR move was the soon-retracted "Play Authentic" video where their PR guy was basically threatening any builder that didn't comply by Gibson's IP rules which Gibson continues to lose in various court battles. Then, Gibson did go on with various new lawsuits (Warwick, Dean, Kiesel) and now, as we see, threatening others.


    Now, Gibson has released a new statement:

    Um, when Heritage guitars was purchased a few years back they dwindled a huge model lineup down to about 6 guitars. And those 6 guitars are models that they've been making for decades with zero changes. The only thing they've done new is "age" guitars. So...what the hell Gibson is talking about here no one knows.


    As for Gibson, same ****, different day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
    guitrr, RoyBGood, muudcat and 6 others like this.
  2. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,062
    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I own two Gibson Custom Shop acoustics, a Les Paul gold top, and three Epiphones.

    Here’s how Gibson’s litigious belligerence affects me - I won’t be buying anymore Gibsons or Epiphones.

    Apparently they haven’t figured out that when you behave like this, people who previously liked your products begin to take a dim view of your behavior.

    That’s all right. Any guitars that I want in the future I’ll make myself, anyway.
     
  3. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,811
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    I'm a big fan of Gibson guitars and I try to not be a tire pumper when it comes to brands. Let the guitar stand on it's own.

    But I have to agree that this **** from them is even getting to me, lol. It's not like Gibson is trying to stop imports that look just like a Gibson with a different name...which I can understand even if I have mixed thoughts.

    These guitars don't have the same headstocks, or body shapes, etc etc. And, this is EXACTLY what happens when you let trademark apply to whatever & whenever the lawyers want to file suit over.
     
  4. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,188
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    Maybe they're trying to get people to hate them and lose money so they can declare bankruptcy or something.
     
    skunqesh, nvilletele, JL_LI and 2 others like this.
  5. imwjl

    imwjl Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,625
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    My mom's basement.
    What a turn off.

    When I wanted a 335 style guitar I checked the huge inventory of Gibsons Dave's has, Heritage, and saw the Collings electrics with them. In maybe two years of kicking tires I got to play and hear vintage 335s. The Collings SoCo 16 sounded more like a Gibson than the modern ones. The Heritage headstock is hideous by comparison. Neither of them can make a guitar as good as Collings. Gibson build and finish quality is mostly as hideous as the Heritage headstocks.

    To be fair, my Collings is at least 7 years old now. It was more than price competitive with Gibsons then - especially the custom shop models. Extra special now is Bill Collings RIP was hands on with my guitar. It's one of the first and was his current project of interest.

    Just get over the stupid brand loyalty. Yes, I did think I always wanted a Gibson ES-335 with 50s style neck but wasn't going to buy an inferior product in same price category. If you can stomach the headstock or afford it just get a Heritage or Collings.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,404
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    Sunny Suffolk UK
    Gibson, who?.....pfffttt!!!
     
    cyclopean, guitrr, Greggorios and 3 others like this.
  7. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    2,325
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    Carolina's (pick one - that's where I'll be) USA
    Never buying another Gibson or Epiphone. Never!
     
  8. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    1,444
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Location:
    Van Zandt Co, Texas
    I don’t have a dog in this fight but I would like to point out there are no links provided in the op. How do we know you didn’t make all that up? You should at least be thorough enough to source the information you disseminate.
    I’ve only owned one Gibson in my lifetime and it was fine instrument which I sold and regretted later. I don’t have plans to purchase any Gibsons in the near future.
     
  9. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,811
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    https://guitar.com/news/gibson-issu...6nYX7rtlgC8N6LFR_glmIGSCVUdbJlWBTryVqmkLranY0

    https://guitar.com/news/gibson-sued...ail&utm_term=0_f890f83bb6-f3f0b6f832-49940921

    https://guitar.com/news/were-not-go...guitars-releases-statement-on-gibson-lawsuit/



    Soon the court filings will be online too I imagine which will give a thorough run down.


    You could also google "Heritage Sues Gibson" to get the same results.
     
    1stpitch, Fendereedo and tubelectron like this.
  10. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    2,079
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    How about Gibson just focus on making great guitars?

    I have to admit, Gibson left a bad taste in my mouth when they left Kalamazoo, Michigan. Former Gibson employees resurrected the old manufacturing facility and produced some exquisite guitars, wish I owned some.

    Then there's Gibson's acoustics. From what I continue to see offered at music stores, they still can't get the manufacturing process right. To mention a few common defects: uneven inlays, unfinished soundholes, sloppy neck joints and binding issues, etc. If you're gonna ask $2,500 - 3,500 for a mahogany box with a spruce top, imho it better damn well be perfect. Taylor, Martin, Guild, Collings don't have these issues.
     
    guitrr, Jerry J, Fendereedo and 3 others like this.
  11. stormsedge

    stormsedge Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    5,733
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    Meh, I have two Epiphones that are nice, but there are so many other nice guitars out there that I'll likely never buy another (no matter the fallout of the lawsuit). That said, I cannot remember ever even having a passing interest in or picking up a Gibson because the presumed higher quality just wasn't worth the extra cash.
     
    Fendereedo likes this.
  12. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Holic

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    582
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Location:
    Drenewydd, Cymru
    It's a real shame that every guitar building company can't just let their instruments do the talking.
     
    guitrr, bender66, Fendereedo and 4 others like this.
  13. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,653
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Obviously, Gibson is in dire straights. They are suing to gain capital and reduce competition. And apparently against agreements that are 3’decades old.

    Suddenly, the Heritage headstock is looking beautiful!
     
    guitrr, mkdaws32, Fendereedo and 3 others like this.
  14. drf64

    drf64 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    10,472
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ada, MI
    I lived in Kalamazoo for 17 years. I have owned 5 Heritage guitars (down to only 2 now). I count some of the Heritage folk as personal friends. I hadn't kept up with things and didn't realize that they had dropped back to only 6 production models (although it looks like you can still get custom shop orders). I'm sorry to see this. I like Gibson flat top acoustics, something that Heritage never got into. While I won't buy a new Gibson, I think used is fair game. Agree?
     
  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,394
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Challenging Definitions of Sin
    "...several customers had inquired if they were actually Gibson Guitars"

    Written by lawyers, and most probably a false statement; Heritage guitars have the Heritage inlay on the headstock--not Gibson. Gibson has never issued a guitar with Heritage on the headstock. What guitar buyer, prepared to spend more than $1,000 on a guitar, is going to ask Gibson if a Heritage guitar is one of theirs?

    The statement above is key to Gibson's case, and they're putting it out there now so they can point back at it. When it comes to things like trademark and trade dress, brand confusion on the part of the consumer is an argument that has influenced judges' and juries' decisions in past lawsuits of trademark/trade dress infringement.

    I have several Gibsons; I cherrypicked them and every one is superb. No complaints from me about their products that I own.

    But their management is smoking the krazee kool-aide.

    "It's a real shame that every guitar building company can't just let their instruments do the talking."

    Spot on. If a company is suffering in the market from fair competition, it points directly at product quality and/or availability and/or pricing.

    Tilting at windmills costs money; outspending the competition on legal representation drives up cost of business--which drives up costs to the consumer. Insane.
     
    1stpitch, bender66, NewKid and 2 others like this.
  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,394
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Challenging Definitions of Sin
    "While I won't buy a new Gibson, I think used is fair game. Agree?"

    You bet. Gibson is getting no money from you.
     
    Fendereedo and Steerforth like this.
  17. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,401
    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Location:
    Carolina
    I love/hate Gibson.
     
    spurgie79, 985plowboy and Steerforth like this.
  18. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,807
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Location:
    London
    Good job Gibson don't make guns, they'd have run out of toes by now ...
     
    spurgie79, guitrr, Alamo and 15 others like this.
  19. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,742
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    France
    You said it... I dislike this kind of attitude. :(

    A long long time ago, in a little factory set in 1917 at Kalamazoo, MI, they used to make great guitars... Mine comes from there, despite being from the Norlin era (1980, S/N° 81700034). It's my first guitar, my only Gibson ever bought and owned :

    [​IMG]

    AFAIK and assuming it is correct - the ES Lefties were reputedly built in a separate workshop, using the old methods, tools and machines due to their little production number (mine is N°34, a friend has the N° 51 from the year 1980).

    Would I buy another Gibson today ? No. Too costy for me... :confused: I would go for an Epiphone, like I go for Squier instead of Fender now.

    Moreover, I think that I'm "well provided" with my ES-335TD, that I bought 2nd hand in 1980 for the equivalent of 839 Euros (5500 Francs), matching Gibson case included.

    And as I wrote it : I really dislike the strategy of making money in sueing others as a goal in itself.

    So no need for another Gibson... ;)

    -tbln
     
  20. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,415
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    Not a Gibson fan in the first place. Tried them, didn’t care for them. Had a nighthawk and a blues hawk at one time, and they were ok, but they had Fender scale length.

    The best Les Paul I ever played was a Tokai.

    Only Gibson I really like is the Sheraton Gibson (“Sitting in the Sheraton Gibson playing my Gibson . . .”)
     
    Slip Kid and Fendereedo like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.