Joined: 29 Jul 2003
Location: Milwaukee, Wi. USA
|Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:13 am Post subject: Gibson/PRS lawsuit
|NASHVILLE, March 12 (UPI) -- Gibson Guitar has won a U.S. trademark infringement case against manufacturer Paul Reed Smith for copying Gibson's Les Paul single cutaway model guitar.
A federal court judge in Nashville Thursday agreed with Gibson's complaint that Paul Reed Smith had violated U.S. patent and trademark laws by making the copycat guitars without permission from or compensation to Gibson. Gibson, which trademarked the Les Paul distinct body style in 1987, claimed in its lawsuit that Paul Reed Smith had been making guitars, called the "PRS Singlecut" with the same Les Paul design since 2000 to capitalize on the original Les Paul's popularity.
The century-old instrument manufacturer began making the Les Paul electric guitar, named for the veteran guitar player, in 1952. The style remains one of Gibson's most popular instruments.
Monetary restitution to Gibson will be decided at a hearing in 90 days.
This has been going around the guitar sites lately.
Don't know how true it is. But, it does bring up some interesting thoughts.
Basically should Gibson be given the right to trademark the basic singlecut body design. Not just the LP cut. But, anything even remotely similar. So, other companies would have to pay licensing fees to Gibson.
Examples: Dean EVO, Tokai NLS, ESP Eclipse, Guild Bluesbird, Carvin SC90, Heritage H150, Hamer Monaco, PRS Singlecut, etc...
None of these are exact LP body shape replicas. They all have altered designs. But, Gibson still feels they should be reimburst because they somewhat resemble a LP. Basically the generic singlecut design.
Fender by the way has applied for a trademark as well for the offset double cutaway design. Meaning PRS would again be infringing on the Strat design with the 24 custom. Same with others like ESP, Fernandes, Ibanez, Etc...
Does Gibson and Fender have the right?
Or are they infringing on other companies rights to be competitive?