Gibson Loses Its Firebird Guitar Body Shape Trademark in The EU

TheX

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Gibson never seems to want to make what I want.

Ten years ago I wanted a neck-through Les Paul with a 16" radius, 1 3/4" nut width, a Floyd, a "reversed quad" of controls (so that I had a volume knob near the bridge/bridge pickup), an ebony fretboard with real shell inlays, jumbo frets, tight-flame top, white custom-type binding, and a NON-nitrocellulose finish. These days I want the same thing, but with a 25.5" scale and a single-coil size neck pickup. None of this stuff is beyond their technical expertise, but they won't even consider it for a made to order guitar.

It gets worse. Gibson may never get around to making an 8-string headless with a multi-scale fretboard, and that's probably going to be my next guitar.

Gibson doesn't get "innovate." I think the last 7-string I saw them attempt was a 24.75" Explorer (or similar), and that one disappeared quickly.

The last CEO was really distressed when his "innovative" guitars (with the robot tuners and a pedalboard tacked onto the guitar) didn't find traction, and he called his customers Luddites. Oh well.
The guitars you want aren't Gibson's, so you have to buy elsewhere. Not sure why anyone would expect Gibson to build every guitar that every player might want. Makes no sense.
 

CB91710

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The guitars you want aren't Gibson's, so you have to buy elsewhere. Not sure why anyone would expect Gibson to build every guitar that every player might want. Makes no sense.
Yep.
The Fender Custom Shop will do some pretty impressive stuff, but other than the oddball builds that they will do for NAMM, they are still going to be effectively Fender guitars at heart.
Might be a Tele body with two humbuckers and LP style controls, or it might be a Strat body with Jazzmaster electronics...
But neither Fender nor Gibson are going to make a Steinberger/BC Rich hybrid.
The Custom Shop models are built from the ground-up, but they still use production templates for the body.

But I hear there's a guy up in the High Desert who can do that funky one-off custom stuff ;)
 

dspelman

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The guitars you want aren't Gibson's, so you have to buy elsewhere. Not sure why anyone would expect Gibson to build every guitar that every player might want. Makes no sense.
Obviously. And I do buy elsewhere.
But almost every one of those requests are items that Gibson has put on a Les Paul or one of their guitars at one time or another. I've had a Gibson executive scream at me (after quite a few beers) that their customers can't abide "innovation." In theory, a PowerTune isn't a Gibson. Nor is that horrendous conglomeration that they stuck in a Firechicken some years ago.

They did, however, build a 27" scale guitar and a 10% larger body LP. They built a 25.5" scale LP and put the same scale on the night hawk and on the MIII. They built an LP with a reversed quad of controls. They've built LPs with Floyds. And Kahlers. They've built neck-through guitars. They've built them with Sustainers and mids cuts and bass cuts. They've built HSS Les Pauls with five-ways and miniswitches. They've built them with a "tilted" humbucker coupled with a single coil and a mini humbucker. Those guitars are (or were) Gibsons.
 

martin H

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"Interestingly, the EUIPO put forward the idea in its judgment that even though guitarists may be able to identify a guitar's outline, it's more relevant whether a non-player can. And it doesn't consider this to be the case for the Firebird."

I wonder how this logic would apply to all trademarks. Any non-driver can use the Mercedes Benz logo? Any non-burger eater can use the Golden Arches?
it's an interesting question ,but the logic works both ways.

If you were to use the "guitar player" standard, I woudl have to ask the following question.

How many of you sincerely believe that any instrument you see that is shaped like a V or a Firebird must be a Gibson product? Be honest. I'm not sure the decision would be any different if the "guitar player" standard was used.

The real question is WHY no-one here believes that every instrument shaped like a V or a Firebird must be a Gibson product. Because everyone knows there are a bunch of manufacturers using the shape. The trademark has become diluted and generic long before Gibson tried to enforce it
 


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