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Gibson is at it again.

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by GoldenEagle0308, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. GoldenEagle0308

    GoldenEagle0308 Strat-O-Master

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  2. guitarsnpucks

    guitarsnpucks Strat-Talk Member

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    The only time I buy a Gibson is if I am flipping it for a profit.
     
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  3. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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  4. GoldenEagle0308

    GoldenEagle0308 Strat-O-Master

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    That's right.
     
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  5. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    Let's see - Gibson invented the Flying V and patented (make that trademarked) it. Another company starts making a guitar that looks very much like the Gibson Flying V. Gibson tells them to stop copying their guitar. The other company says it's not a copy, it's got pointier points.
    As a result you choose to not purchase a Les Paul from the company that originated the Les Paul.

    Okay. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, cause guitars sound like the corporate philosophy. (Sigh...) I have to take a break from fora sometimes when my brain's cells cry out for relief.
     
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  7. Agtronic

    Agtronic Strat-Talker

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    Well, in this case, I'd have to say I don't really agree that it looks exactly like a Flying V. It's hard to enforce something like this because it's literally a V shape. At what point does the V look too much like a V, you know?

    In the case of the California model, that's more difficult to defend. It looks like if you took an LP and laid it on top of it, it would line up EXACTLY.

    But in the end, why wait this long? I feel like all these similar models serve to reinforce the image of the originator. Many people want the "real" thing. I'd personally never be interested in a guitar that looks like an LP. I'd rather have an LP. Just like I'd never be interested in a Strat lookalike because I'd rather have the original.

    In the case of the V, I find this one looks way more modern than the classic Flying V. So I could see wanting one more than a Gibson. Same goes for the Jackson models.
     
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  8. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    To my knowledge nothing has been resolved by the courts yet.
    To date, the EU courts have denied patent (trademark) approval to Gibson for guitar shapes. This makes sense because, as the court stated, the shapes have become quite common.
    In the U.S. however, Gibson has active patents (trademarks) on shapes, as well as hardware, etc.
    The difference here is other companies are saying their shapes are not copies and therefor don't constitute patent infringement.
    This is for the courts to decide, of course.
    Sending "cease and desist" letters is the first step of the process.

    *edit: everywhere I used the word "patent" I should have said "trademark".
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  9. ChrisD

    ChrisD Senior Stratmaster

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    Well what else are you supposed to do when another company makes your product better than you do? Shut them down ofcourse!
     
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  10. GoldenEagle0308

    GoldenEagle0308 Strat-O-Master

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    That's right. The guitars look different. It's like Ford suing other car makers because they make cars with 4 doors. I guess Gibson should sue Ibanez, Jackson, ESP and everyone else that makes a V-shaped guitar. No one with a brain would confuse a Keisel V with a Gibson V. It's not like the 70s when Japanese companies were making copies of Les Pauls.
     
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  11. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Senior Stratmaster

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    Or they buy them companies and profit from the profits, lol, this is the American way.
     
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  12. Cold Shot

    Cold Shot Strat-Talker

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    I pretty much agree on all points and would like to add that some of those "Lawsuit Les Pauls" played and sounded better than the real McCoy. Tokai, Ibanez, Hondo, etc.
     
  13. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Fender/Jackson has more of case with against Keisel's design than Gibson does..lol
     
  14. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit is no longer legal tender Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Trademarks are not patents. US trademarks do not have to be recognised in other countries.
     
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  15. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Most Honored Senior Member

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    And in the case of the Tokai copies I can say from experience they were really superb guitars.. Copies, maybe, but the build quality was truly excellent.. :thumb:
     
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  16. Cold Shot

    Cold Shot Strat-Talker

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    My Hondo Les Paul copy is outstanding. And it has factory DiMarzio humbuckers in it, too.
     
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  17. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    Trademarks are for things that signify a brand or source- the name fender. Or something like the headstock, which can tell you it’s a fender. You can’t trademark something that is generic, that others would use to make or sell the same product.

    copyrights are for creative works. Songs, books, architectural works, etc. you can’t copyright the functional aspects of something.

    patents are for invention/sciencey things. That’s a technical term.
     
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  18. rgbedard

    rgbedard non-compliant Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The story I heard was the Kiesel V was originally patented (as a Charvel) years before Gibson trademarked their V. Gibson probably doesn't have a case if that's true. And I think that other guitar looks far more like a PRS than a Les Paul, fwiw, lol.
     
  19. SILENCER

    SILENCER Strat-Talker

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    It's a little odd since numerous guitar manufacturers (PRS, ESP, Friedman even, etc) make a single cut guitar which is very similar to a les paul

    But they certainly came after Kauer for the Banshee
    Keisel even makes a guitar that looks like a les paul, the california single cutaway it's called.

    I guess they pick their legal battles.
     
  20. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    It's Trademarks (or something called Trade Dress on the details) on the shapes, not patents. Any patents Gibson had on the Flying V would have expired in the 1970s - patents last either 18 or 20 years (depends on when they were filed, and I don't recall when it changed from 18 to 20 years; I suspect Gibson's patents were from 1958-59 and they would have lasted for 18 years then).

    Gibson did wind up applying for and being granted an "after the fact" trademark on the Flying V shape (I think the V was in 2011 but I could be wrong on that - they got after the fact trademarks on different models at different times; 2011 is either the V or the Firebird; if it's the Firebird then they got one for the V a few years earlier than that; the trademark on the LP goes back to 1987) and now they are trying to enforce it. They could also have a Trademark on the name "V" for guitars - like Fender has on "Stratocaster" and "Telecaster".

    I don't see it - if anything the Kiesel (formerly Carvin) Ultra V is more like the Jackson Rhoads but upside-down (shorter leg on top, longer leg on the bottom). Unless it is the name "V" Kiesel should fight this one vs. Gibson and hope that FMIC doesn't decide to take them on for infringing on the Jackson Rhoads shape. But if Kiesel (the Carvin) was able to patent their shape then really Gibson doesn't have a leg to stand on (nor would FMIC if they didn't contest the patent when Kiesel applied for it).

    Gibson also went after Kiesel for the CS model:

    Kiesel is incorrectly thinking that because PRS won an appeal against Gibson for the Singlecut back in the mid-2000s that the LP shape was fair game. That is not correct; PRS won their appeal on 2 legal grounds: (1) the lower court in Tennessee incorrectly applied their model for testing/confirming infringement/market confusion when they ruled the PRS Singlecut infringed on the Les Paul, and (2) that Gibson did not fully prove their case that the PRS Singlecut could be confused with the Les Paul. In that higher court appeal ruling it was noted that both parties mutually dismissed any legalities about Gibson's Les Paul trade dress - so since it wasn't part of the PRS vs. Gibson ruling Gibson retained their trade dress protection.

    Since the PRS vs. Gibson ruling Gibson has successfully had 2 companies alter the shapes of their singlecut guitars - ESP's original set-neck Eclipse model had a lower horn that was very similar to the Les Paul, and they had 4 knobs laid out like a Les Paul; they were changed to a much sharper (and deeper cut) lower horn and 3 knobs (but they still do a 4-knob on the Hetfield signature model). Also Tom Anderson had an LP-shaped model called the Bulldog (it was a bolt-neck LP); he also had to change the lower horn shape slightly and switched to a 3-knob layout (now called the Bobcat).

    So I think that Kiesel should suck that one up and tweak the lower horn and adjust the layout of the knobs (actually I think 4 knobs is an option; stock they would have 2 knobs - at least that is how it was when Carvin first introduced their CS model).
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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