They’ve been ‘letting people off’ for decades. The Dean V and E type guitars they’re currently suing over have been in production for 40 years. If you couldn’t be bothered to step in 40 years ago, you shouldn’t be able to do it now. There’s no way that Gibson never came across those Dean guitars in the intervening years.That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. The Carvin Ultra V has been around for nearly thirty-five years.Made In 1992 29 Years Of Being Awesome Quarantine Edition T-Shirt Who’s next? Jackson? ESP? Washburn? Man, these guys just can’t help themselves- one ridiculous gaffe after another.
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Oh, it’s well known they sued the parent of Ibanez long ago, but over the last decade or two they’ve sued PRS, ESP, and Dean to varying degrees of success over anything that has a similar body shape (LP and Explorer in these cases). It’s the reason ESP dropped the MX shape in favor of the EX and Snakebyte… although that one was a pretty blatant ripoff. The thing is, if you hold a trademark, there’s a certain level of legal diligence you have to do to maintain that trademark… Gibson is just so aggressive about it that it hurts Made In 1992 29 Years Of Being Awesome Quarantine Edition T-Shirt their brand with the guitar community. Fender, on the flip side, have preferred to only maintain trademark on their headstock shapes rather than fight the invasion of the clones and that seems to strike an excellent balance.
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Their management is out of touch, their new CEO has, so far, has made some lukewarm steps in the right direction with the 2020 Epiphone stuff. They’re not in great shape when you consider other brands that span mid-to-high tier product ranges like PRS and Music Man as flourishing. Being aggressive about a trademark that you’ve basically let slide for decades is massively counterproductive. They’ve already lost a lawsuit they filed against Framus/Warwick (in Europe). I would not be surprised if they end up losing to Dean.Made In 1992 29 Years Of Being Awesome Quarantine Edition T-Shirt Fender has tried to enforce trademark like Gibson, but due to the fact they haven’t been as aggressive as Gibson courts have sided against them. They don’t prefer to trademark their headstock, it’s the fact its the only thing left that they can trademark after doing nothing for years.