Why isn’t the Strat shape patented?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dscottyg, Nov 14, 2021.

  1. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy CERTIFIED HACK Silver Member

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    Uh…..I didn’t say they were…..duh.

    You were talking about headstocks at one point. A headstock shape would be a design patent. The backwards F would be a trademark. Yes I have a few patents. Another submitted. I certainly know that patents and trademarks are not the same.
     
  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    I never mentioned patents, as they don't apply to the subject being discussed.
     
  3. Wrighty

    Wrighty Dr. Stratster

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  4. rolandson

    rolandson Dr. Stratster

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    Japan was like pulling teeth. At the time, the Sovs and China weren't an option. Europe was rather straight forward. As was Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. But each was a separate application.

    I did. And...as the word appears in the OP's thread title...:thumb:

    But @Deafsoundguy , I believe the only design patent (guitar, Strat) Leo was granted was the tremolo bridge. My understanding is that the headstock, and names of course, was ultimately a trademark which is why it remains under license to this day.
     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Yes, but he's always posting incomprehensible threads. :)
     
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  6. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    This seems the most likely compared to other responses. But still the Strat body shape is just as unique as the headstock shape. I’m thinking it’s like you said, in those days, they didn’t think of it until it was too late. Still nobody addressed why a car shape or bottle shape can be trademarked.
     
  7. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    It wouldn’t be a trademark of the shape in general, just a trademark on that shape for an electric guitar. I’m pretty sure car shapes are trademarked. I’m just guessing, based on the fact that car companies don’t make their car in the same shape as other manufacturers’ cars. Also. I do know that Coca-Cola was able to trademark that bottle shape.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  8. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Well, it is a rather blatant copy of the p-bass (1951). Which was subject to several utility patents. The shape was chosen carefully for its balance. The Jazzmaster is also subject to patents.

    The other issue is, the law has changed. Coca-Cola didn't win its bottle shape trademark until 1960. And that is not clear precedent--the shape of the bottle is part of the packaging, not the product itself. Yes, Fender could have attempted to register the shape after 1960, but it would have meant a legal battle. And one that probably could not be won. Rickenbacher had its own double cutaway bass by 1957. They certainly would have fought to stay in business.

    On top of all that, back in 1954 they had no expectations that a particular body shape would still be around in 70 years. Nobody kept the same car body for more than a couple years, and Leo was already working on the next model. He thought the Jazzmaster was a new and improved guitar that would replace the Stratocaster, just like how Gibson used a new improved (SG) shape for the Les Paul. They had no idea the shape from 1951 would need legal protection in 2021, and really didn't plan for that possibility.
     
  9. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    That makes a lot of sense.
     
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  10. revtime

    revtime Strat-Talker

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    Some folks wanna claim they own the word hello.
    I just want to pound my foot into their sack.
     
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  11. beerbelly

    beerbelly Strat-Talker

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    I have a copyright on a guitar body I designed. As I recall, it was a fair amount of online paperwork, but only a $55 fee.

    Copyright 2.JPG
     
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  12. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    There ya go. It can be done.
     
  13. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    Is there any way we could see the Astrocaster?
     
  14. AznCaster

    AznCaster Strat-Talk Member

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    The lack of patent enforcement definitely pushed Fender to make better products, but I kind of wish there were some enforcement early on so we get more unique shapes to choose from in the market instead of the same old s-type, t-type shapes.
     
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  15. beerbelly

    beerbelly Strat-Talker

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    I've done two versions, one with (3) Parsons Street P90s and a tremolo, and a hardtail with (2) Lollar P90s:

    AstroCaster 1.JPG AstroCaster 2.jpg
     
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  16. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I’m trying to get the circle patented.
     
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  17. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    Wow. I love these. That triangular pickguard is awesome on that body.
     
  18. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    Awe man, now you’ve done it. Comparing the marvels of design in creating a Stratocaster body shape when none existed before it to a simple circle. You’ve just made yourself the enemy of this entire forum.
     
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  19. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Hardly.

    Go read up on what the statutes on design patent are. It's really straightforward stuff.

    The confusion everyone has is the difference between a patent and a trademark.
     
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  20. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-O-Master

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    It’s strange that the headstock says “original contour body patent pending.” That seems to imply that there was a patent pending on the body. Unless it’s like calling the vibrato system a tremolo system and a screw on neck a bolt on neck.