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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2005 » Archive through June 03, 2005 » Lawsuit Guitars « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 407
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post

A while back, someone mentioned the website as a source for manuals. It really is terrific for that, but there were links to various vintage sites. Going through these lists, I ran across several Japanese vintage sites and was stunned to see that 'lawsuit' guitars are REALLY alive and well in the Far East. Piecing together bits of information from quite a few, evidently this goes on without litigation as long as they don't wind up here in the Great PX.

Can anyone shed any light on this? I've never seen such amazing copies in my life. I'd mistakenly gotten the idea that this sort of thing was history by now. Boy was I wrong!

Glance at, and tell me what you think . . .

J o e y
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1714
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 5:00 am:   Edit Post

Interesting reading, thanks.

(Message edited by davehouck on May 15, 2005)
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 452
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 9:57 am:   Edit Post

Most of these appear to be older models. Also, I've never seen any actual "lawsuits" filed by Gibson, Fender, et al., only urban legends about the "lawsuits". All anyone has to do is walk into a Guitar Center and you will find it stocked with numerous copies of Les Pauls, SGs, 335s, Strats, and Teles. (And, of course, Precision and Jazz basses). Even high end builders like Tom Anderson copy these shapes. I suspect there are no copyrights on the shapes.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: the_mule

Post Number: 481
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post

Well, there is the recent, much talked about copyright lawsuit of Gibson vs. PRS about the SingleCut model resembling the good old Les Paul too much. I still don't understand how Gibson succeeded to persuade that judge...

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 453
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 1:39 pm:   Edit Post

A lot of these "lawsuits" are actually not lawsuits. Rather, one company writes a "cease and desist" letter to the "offender" who often chooses to stop rather than incur the inevitable attorney fees which will be generated, win or lose.

Bill, tgo
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 61
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 4:48 am:   Edit Post

I am guessing that many of the older Fender and Gibson copyrights and patents have expired. Once this occurs anyone can use the information as they see fit. To try and extend control over their original ideas many companies will make minor changes to allow new a copyright or patent to be filed. This only covers the new product but could be enough to discourage other folks from copying old stuff. I also would not be surprised to hear some of these lawsuits end up being litigated as trademark disputes as opposed to copyrights or patents.


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