Starting to make my homemade Les Paul. What logos can I legally use? (Pics inside)

Dkr84

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I know that if I want to resell it I can't use the Gibby logo, but what about the "Les Paul Model" logo? Is that legally okay? If not, what about the Custom split-diamond logo or the SG logo? Thanks in advance!!! :D

By the way, here's a pic of my headstock "blueprints". I printed a Gibby headstock outline, cut it out, and traced it onto a piece of plywood. I'm not using this piece of wood on the guitar when I make it, i'll get a good one with better wood.
 

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River

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My understanding: If it's not a Gibson or Epiphone, it's not a Les Paul, so emblazoning it with that name would not be kosher. But I don't think anyone, even a stickler like me, :) would care, if the primary logo clearly said "I am not a Gibson".
 

Drew224

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I know that if I want to resell it I can't use the Gibby logo, but what about the "Les Paul Model" logo? Is that legally okay? If not, what about the Custom split-diamond logo or the SG logo? Thanks in advance!!! :D

By the way, here's a pic of my headstock "blueprints". I printed a Gibby headstock outline, cut it out, and traced it onto a piece of plywood. I'm not using this piece of wood on the guitar when I make it, i'll get a good one with better wood.

there are a lot of build threads here that have guitars with gibson and les paul logos on them. just do whatever you want. MAX and Derrig never got sued, after all.
 

Dkr84

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If I ever want to sell it, i'm not taking the same risk MAX and Derrig did though. I think i'll go with River's idea of using the primary logo as something besides Gibson.
 

River

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there are a lot of build threads here that have guitars with gibson and les paul logos on them. just do whatever you want. MAX and Derrig never got sued, after all.
My primary concern is not about someone getting sued. It's about the guitar ending up in someone's hands who sells it as the genuine article. And "everyone else is doing it, Dad!" is a lame excuse.

OP has ethics, I applaud that. Not wanting to get caught is not the only reason to do the right thing.
 

Jason

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You're already infringing upon their trademark if you're using the exact body and headstock shapes. I believe that selling such an item would be illegal regardless of whose name is on it.
 

loveboat

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Have they really trademarked the body shape? Really?
 

Jason

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Have they really trademarked the body shape? Really?

Yep, and they've successfully sued several companies for using it. Take a look at some of the top "Les Paul style" guitars from major manufacturers like Ibanez, Agile, Xaviere, etc... you'll notice the cutaway is never exactly like a real Les Paul. Headstock is always different too.
 

RainbowPunk

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Using any brand (Gibson) or product (Les Paul) names is illegal.
Using a trademarked headstock shape (Gibson, Epiphone, Fender) is also illegal.

But guitar body shapes are rarely attacked legally because they're easy to duplicate with small enough variations to not be the exact shape. It's not worth the time of most legal departments as long as you're not saying they made it. That's why there are so many strat clones.
 

Jason

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Using any brand (Gibson) or product (Les Paul) names is illegal.
Using a trademarked headstock shape (Gibson, Epiphone, Fender) is also illegal.

But guitar body shapes are rarely attacked legally because they're easy to duplicate with small enough variations to not be the exact shape. It's not worth the time of most legal departments as long as you're not saying they made it. That's why there are so many strat clones.

There are so many Strat clones because Fender was too late pursuing legal action against copycats. When they finally did, it was decided that their designs had become so ubiquitous that they had effectively given up their rights to them. Smart Gibson for suing the shit out of copycats all these years. :D
 

Dkr84

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Good point Jason. But I don't think that Gibson would sue one average person over making one guitar that doesn't even have their logo on it... I don't think...
 

RainbowPunk

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Okay, using the strat was a bad example. :lol:

But still, it's still not worth a big company's time or money to sue over a body shape as long as you don't do the other trademarked things and don't brand it as a Gibson/Epiphone Les Paul. But if you're making the body yourself, then be sure to add something to make your shape legally unique.
 

voices

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Henry E. Juszkiewicz June 28, 2010 at 7:42pm
Re: a question for you on replicas

I do not think my opinion really matters. Our society set rules regarding brands, intellectual property, etc. This set of rules applies to all people including our team at Gibson.

A set of rules allows the creator of a product to derive a profit from their creative work. Les Paul collected substantial royalties on his outstanding invention, and I think most people would agree he was deserving. He would not have been happy if a person he didn't know used his name and his ideas to potentially take money out of his pocket.

As the head of a company it is my duty and responsibility to protect our assets as the law defines them. In fact, the law reads that if I do not actively seek to protect these assets, I can lose them.

We all wish to change the rules when the rules prevent us from doing what we want. I believe personally that integrity lies in obeying societies rules. I think honoring those whose creativity and bold vision led them to invent and market great product is an higher ideal.

You are free to share my reply. Thanks for asking.

Henry
 

Dkr84

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Thanks voices. I'm just gonna buy a gutted genuine Les Paul from eBay and work with that.
 

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