Gibson's shooting themselves in the foot again

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#1
Guitar World has an article up about a now-deleted video from Mark Agnesi.

In the video, Agnesi says:
“It’s a common misconception that a brand is just in a logo," Agnesi said in the video, according to Gear News. "The Les Paul, Flying V, Explorer, SG, Firebird, Thunderbird and ES shapes are trademarked shapes of Gibson. The design, from the components to the actual shapes, are an integral part of the Gibson DNA.

“You have been warned," he said. "We’re looking out and we’re here to protect our iconic legacy.”

As a Patreon of Phil McKnight, he also posted something there about this video (you can still find the video on Reddit) and there's some discussion there about this. Phil mentioned that Gibson's currently suing Framus, Dean and Texas Toast over the V guitar.
 

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
#2
Guitar World has an article up about a now-deleted video from Mark Agnesi.

In the video, Agnesi says:
“It’s a common misconception that a brand is just in a logo," Agnesi said in the video, according to Gear News. "The Les Paul, Flying V, Explorer, SG, Firebird, Thunderbird and ES shapes are trademarked shapes of Gibson. The design, from the components to the actual shapes, are an integral part of the Gibson DNA.

“You have been warned," he said. "We’re looking out and we’re here to protect our iconic legacy.”

As a Patreon of Phil McKnight, he also posted something there about this video (you can still find the video on Reddit) and there's some discussion there about this. Phil mentioned that Gibson's currently suing Framus, Dean and Texas Toast over the V guitar.
Yup, I just saw Phil's Patreon post. So dumb and just when they were starting to build something positive.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#4
I haven't seen the video. So can someone fill me in on the video why it's so dumb what they're doing?

If Gibson has a patent on certain things other brands to they have a right to protect that. I'd imagine they're gathering up to take care of chinese fakes. I don't know the brands mentioned so I can't judge. But maybe it's a size thing?
 

Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#5
I haven't seen the video. So can someone fill me in on the video why it's so dumb what they're doing?

If Gibson has a patent on certain things other brands to they have a right to protect that. I'd imagine they're gathering up to take care of chinese fakes. I don't know the brands mentioned so I can't judge. But maybe it's a size thing?
https://www.reddit.com/r/guitars/comments/c1p9kc
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#7
Wow.. well.. I kinda get his feeling. They’ve put energy and work into those designs and people are copying them. His wording could’ve been better though

But there’s two kinds of copy.
The forgery: intended to look like a Gibson and fool people to think it is. These are a problem that Gibson should try to stop.

The trademark infringement (as he calls it): guitars of the same shapes, headstock etc with the brand of whatever builder on it.

So if Gibson tries to stop Chinese copies, sure more power to them. If they hash out a deal with PRS. Sure I can see that’s competition and you’d want your piece of the pie.
But boutique builders with low volumes.. meh.. The question is where you put the line. And if Gibson has a trademark on those shapes.. that boutique builder is taking a risk. Though I’m not sure about the law here and at what point a guitar shaped thing becomes infringement.
 

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#8
So, the last time Fender or Gibson made a huge stink about this it went to the U.S. Supreme Court who ruled that only the headstock shape can be trademarked. Apparently Gibson does not agree with this and maybe they're hoping the fact that they're a huge company and that these other brands are not will give them leverage. I don't know. But I think it's rather conspicuous that they're taking a lot of smaller brands to court, but not Jackson (Fender) who makes a V guitar that is arguably as well-known (if not more so) than Gibson's.

The real issue here is that Gibson should have fought this fight a long time before every other guitar brand out there made a V-shaped guitar. Part of copyright and trademark law states that you have to vigorously defend your trademark/copyright and that if other people have had products like yours for a long time, then you essentially don't have a case. I really don't understand what Gibson is doing here.

Do you really think Gibson owns the V shape?
 

Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#9
If you want to sell me guitars then make good guitars and tell me kindly why they are better.

I don't buy guitars because they are "authentic" or because the guys making them thinks they are the only brand "good enough". It's not the vibe or "mojo" I want. I sure as hell don't buy guitars from anyone threatening me or others like a stupid goon. Who needs that shit?

I acknowledge that brands must defend their IP's - if they have the right to do so. But that is a matter for courts and lawyers.

If you are lashing out to no-one and anyone like a wanna-be gangster you are not really getting my respect at all.

Somehow Gibson manages to continuously do all the wrong things and to set the bar to a new low all the time. Cringeworthy much.
 

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
#10
So, the last time Fender or Gibson made a huge stink about this it went to the U.S. Supreme Court who ruled that only the headstock shape can be trademarked. Apparently Gibson does not agree with this and maybe they're hoping the fact that they're a huge company and that these other brands are not will give them leverage. I don't know. But I think it's rather conspicuous that they're taking a lot of smaller brands to court, but not Jackson (Fender) who makes a V guitar that is arguably as well-known (if not more so) than Gibson's.


The real issue here is that Gibson should have fought this fight a long time before every other guitar brand out there made a V-shaped guitar. Part of copyright and trademark law states that you have to vigorously defend your trademark/copyright and that if other people have had products like yours for a long time, then you essentially don't have a case. I really don't understand what Gibson is doing here.

Do you really think Gibson owns the V shape?
Depends on the V shape. I don't think they can claim to own the Randy Rhodes V shape. It's unique and it's Jackson's. I don't think they can claim to own the King V shape. But they did sue Ibanez for the Rocket Roll (among others) in the 1970s and it's a legitimate gripe. It was a direct clone and here's the counter point. Look at what Ibanez had to do to stay in the US market. They had to make their own guitars with their own designs and their own necks. Now they are a distinct entity and not a rip off company. Those lawsuits pushed innovation forward because it forced Ibanez to get off their asses and be creative.

So I don't know which side I fall on. I'd much rather have innovation than more clones. But I'm not sure I enjoy watching the tactics.
 

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
#11
If you want to sell me guitars then make good guitars and tell me kindly why they are better.

I don't buy guitars because they are "authentic" or because the guys making them thinks they are the only brand "good enough". It's not the vibe or "mojo" I want. I sure as hell don't buy guitars from anyone threatening me or others like a stupid goon. Who needs that shit?
What you are describing is the PRS Silver Sky. Everyone who plays it says it's a better sounding, better playing, better feeling Strat than the Fender Strat. But they all say it's not "authentic" because it has the wrong headstock so there is no "mojo." This stuff matters, even if it shouldn't, because consumers say it matters. Gibson doesn't have to bother with any of this if people don't want to buy guitars that look exactly like their designs but cheaper. And it can't be similar. It can't be missing two tiny little ears like Epiphone has. It's got to be so close, you can't see the difference.

I find it all annoying as hell, but I'm not Gibson or Fender and I'm not trying to run a company. I can sit back and make fun of it.
 
#12
If you want to sell me guitars then make good guitars and tell me kindly why they are better.

I don't buy guitars because they are "authentic" or because the guys making them thinks they are the only brand "good enough". It's not the vibe or "mojo" I want. I sure as hell don't buy guitars from anyone threatening me or others like a stupid goon. Who needs that shit?

I acknowledge that brands must defend their IP's - if they have the right to do so. But that is a matter for courts and lawyers.

If you are lashing out to no-one and anyone like a wanna-be gangster you are not really getting my respect at all.

Somehow Gibson manages to continuously do all the wrong things and to set the bar to a new low all the time. Cringeworthy much.
If legacy and authenticity doesn't matter, if nothing matters but how good the guitar is, there should be no problem asking everyone who squirms at NAMM about their latest "S-type", "T-type", "LP-type" to make their own shapes and headstocks. I'm sure manufacturers like Maybach sells solely on the quality as instruments rather than stealing design elements from other brands.

 

Lonestar

SC Relics Guitars
#13
Talk about walking into the party late swinging your dick around.

Good luck to them. They went after PRS and lost. The Chibson market is too big to stop now and all they can actively really pursue builders for is the open book headstock design.
 

johnniegoat

Stop, don’t, come back.
#14
if gibson go after companies like Texas Toast, they are fukt both ways

if they lose they look like ****ers

if they win they look like ****ers

tbh - they way gibson can beat these "competitors" is to build better guitars themselves, not prevent others building similar guitars
 

everfreetree

I... I like trees.
#15
I suppose I understand their goal. "If you want a Les Paul... you should go to Gibson." is basically their argument, which is... well, completely fair, really, but as usual, it's lawyers fighting a profit-based legal dispute and trying to make it seem reasonable after the fact.
Flashbacks to the Fender "sock test" are occurring, in my mind... :rolleyes:
And yeah, it always hurts to see boutique builders kicking out quality guitars that are basically "your design", but with their name on it, and selling them for about the same price you'd charge, but honestly, the only reason to stop them would be if they actively claimed they made "Les Pauls" and copied the design and carves, down to the millimeter (which some do, or at least try to), or offered unlicensed "Gibson" inlays on their copies and that sort of thing.
Going after every boutique guy who makes "an LP shape" is silly, time-consuming, TERRIBLE press, and expensive.

So, basically, to Gibson, I quote the immortal words of Velma, from Scooby-Doo.

 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#16
This does fit very well from my experience dealing with them as A former Gibson Dealer. When I started at the store, we had just decided to end the dealership because of their arrogance, stupidity and lack of consistent quality for the price you are paying. 12 years later and they still haven't learned a thing, it seems.
 

ten-foot-tryptych

half rock, half gas
#20
– in effect accusing Armadillo of trying to deceive or mislead the public into thinking that the guitars made by Dean and Luna are in fact Gibsons, or have some connection to Gibson
Is this some kind of "hail mary" attempt to garner some greenbacks to stay afloat?

Does not bode well. Not classy.
 
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