A landmark court victory has been achieved which will change the course of guitar building in the future.
In 2019, Gibson Brands Inc. (“Gibson”) filed a lawsuit against the parent company of Dean Guitars, Armadillo Distribution Enterprises Inc. (“Armadillo”). Gibson’s claim was on grounds of trade mark infringement, counterfeiting and dilution.
Following the commencement of proceedings, Armadillo claimed “some things are too common and basic for one company to claim as their own property”, and for such reasons, Armadillo would be seeking to cancel Gibson’s trade mark registrations. Armadillo proceeded to countersue Gibson on the grounds of “tortious interference with Armadillo’s business relationships and/or contracts”.
In May 2022, an East Texas court ruled no interference had taken place by Gibson and dismissed the counterclaim. The court went a step further, ruling Dean Guitars had infringed upon Gibson’s registered trade marks.
An injunction has been issued preventing Armadillo/ Dean Guitars from manufacturing, advertising and/ or selling instruments which infringe Gibson’s marks. The court ruled the marks were not commonplace and thus should not be cancelled.
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