Is the Les Paul Body shape trademarked by Gibson?

honeyy

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I really want to start a custom guitar shop where you can walk in and get a custom guitar in any shape, color, style, or material they want. but I can't seem to find whether Gibson owns complete rights to the Les Paul body.
g.gif
Does anyone know?
 

riffhard

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
802
Reaction score
1,013
I would strongly think so. There was a lawsuite in the 70s because of copys. And if you look at Les Paul like guitars from other manufacturers they never look exactly like a Gibson but are always at least slightly changed in shape.
I don't think it is a good idea to start a shop that offers exact copys. No matter if Gibson, Fender or whatelse.
 

LedZeppelin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
544
Reaction score
340
Look at the ESP Eclipse. It's basically a LP with the headstock changed.
 

riffhard

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
802
Reaction score
1,013
Look at the ESP Eclipse. It's basically a LP with the headstock changed.

But only basically, that's the point. The cutaway looks different. And if you take a ruler I think you will notice that is does not have the exact same mesurements.
 

LedZeppelin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
544
Reaction score
340
But only basically, that's the point. The cutaway looks different. And if you take a ruler I think you will notice that is does not have the exact same mesurements.

It might not have the same measurements, but that really doesn't matter. If it looks like a LP and sounds good, why not? (I'm not saying I would have an ESP over a Gibson. I'd still prefer having a regular LP)
 

riffhard

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
802
Reaction score
1,013
It might not have the same measurements, but that really doesn't matter. If it looks like a LP and sounds good, why not? (I'm not saying I would have an ESP over a Gibson. I'd still prefer having a regular LP)

????
It's not about wheater you prefer Gibson or ESP. The question was wheater it is legal to make a exact copy of a Gibson LP (or a other Guitar) when you do not write Gibson on the headstock (of course that would be a fake).
 
K

Kirrt

But only basically, that's the point. The cutaway looks different. And if you take a ruler I think you will notice that is does not have the exact same mesurements.
The body of an ESP Eclipse also thinner than a Gibson's
 

major

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
687
Reaction score
381
I really want to start a custom guitar shop where you can walk in and get a custom guitar in any shape, color, style, or material they want. but I can't seem to find whether Gibson owns complete rights to the Les Paul body.
g.gif
Does anyone know?

Just looked at another thread discussing LP guitar kits for the home builder. The bodies these guys do look pretty sharp. Look here:

1959 'esqe Les Paul Custom Kit - The best there is.


And there are quite a few "tribute" guitars around that ape the shape. Like this - called a "Gibbo"!!

http://www.rockfactory.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=gge-gibbolpcjs

So I would say that it is not patentable. I understand the "open book" headstock shape IS protected though:)
 

slapshot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
22,978
Reaction score
23,724
what's "59" about a chambered body with large studs & 60s neck?
more bullshit marketing spin
 

Lysol

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
1,849
Reaction score
879
Not in Europe, Japan and Australia it isn't. I think it's just in North America.

The body of an ESP Eclipse also thinner than a Gibson's

Only the ones you guys get in the US are. The rest of the world get full thickness ones with les paul knob layout. We can also get the thinner ones too.

Left-Gibson/Right-ESP

ESPFTCTM-LPC.jpg


Eclipse_FT_04.jpg


These are available in local stores all over Australia and Europe.

But only basically, that's the point. The cutaway looks different. And if you take a ruler I think you will notice that is does not have the exact same mesurements.

The measurements are close enough that you can put a stock Gibson les paul custom pickguard on the above guitar with no modification to anything. It's a perfect fit.
 

major

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
687
Reaction score
381
what's "59" about a chambered body with large studs & 60s neck?
more bullshit marketing spin

Pretty much anything to do with Gibson Les Paul guitars in accompanied by shovelloads of bullshit marketing. (Repro "59" TRC - a 3inch piece of plastic - "that'll be $70.00, sir").....

I think the OP was just refering to the LP body shape:)
 

stealthelephant

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
771
patents expire, and since the les paul is around since the 50s, its surely expired given the most last for 20 years before expiration
 

KenG

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
6,325
Reaction score
3,430
The Open book headstock is a trade mark but the body is not!
 

GERRYGTR62

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
1,268
I can't believe PRS was sued by Gibson for the SingleCut--thankfully, it was throwned-out, LOL!!!
 

John Vasco

I'm with the band
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
16,791
Reaction score
25,684
I can't believe PRS was sued by Gibson for the SingleCut--thankfully, it was throwned-out, LOL!!!

Yeah, but what Gibson's action did, Gerry, was to ensure that PRS could not continue to build single cuts for a couple of years or more while the court action continued. In effect, they made sure PRS had a slightly diminished share of the overall market.
 

dspelman

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
11,618
Reaction score
8,350
I really want to start a custom guitar shop where you can walk in and get a custom guitar in any shape, color, style, or material they want. but I can't seem to find whether Gibson owns complete rights to the Les Paul body.
g.gif
Does anyone know?

They don't.
 

dspelman

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
11,618
Reaction score
8,350
I would strongly think so. There was a lawsuite in the 70s because of copys. And if you look at Les Paul like guitars from other manufacturers they never look exactly like a Gibson but are always at least slightly changed in shape.

There was a lawsuit brought by Gibson against the manufacturer of Ibanez over headstock shape. The lawsuit never went to court and was settled OUT of court without prejudice (no admission of culpability) in part because Ibanez had already changed its headstock prior to the lawsuit even being filed.

Gibson hasn't won lawsuits regarding its guitar or headstock shapes. It *has* succeeded in blustering a bit by sending out cease and desist letters that lay claim to ownership. The cost of taking an intellectual property claim all the way to court is well over $100K (and that's a bare minimum), so it's often cheaper to avoid the process. When Gibson has managed to hit court, it's ultimately lost most of the important suits. They sued PRS and won in the original court session (local judge) but lost on appeal, largely because of Gibson's own lawyers' screwups with their own witnesses. Gibson is loathe to launch lawsuits overseas (which is why there are accurate copies there that don't come into the US); the costs would eat them up and there's every likelihood that they'd lose, setting precedent that they just couldn't get back. Cease and Desist letters lose their luster when there's already judicial precedent that says you're wrong.

The short of it is, if you're large enough to catch Gibson's eye, they'll send out a cease and desist letter. And then you'll be forced to pony up the cost of a lawyer to write a letter that says, "Up Yours." And then they'll send another letter, and so on. They're hoping that you run out of money or interest before they do.
 

Latest Threads



Top