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  1. #1

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    This is an interesting switch:

    Heritage Sues Gibson

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I have a 575 and 535 and really like the way Heritage does things, so I am kinda' rooting for them, but in truth I am not sure what is fair and just in this lawsuit.

    Man, ain't this a beautiful finish? Heritage H-150.

    Heritage Suing Gibson-heritage-artisan-aged-h-150@1400x1050-696x522-jpg

  4. #3

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    Gibson is only suing because Heritage makes better quality guitars.

    Who is Gibson going to sue next? Eastman? Collins? Other?

  5. #4

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    the real shame is that its easier for gibson to go after long time larger manufacturers who play by the books, like heritage and dean, than it is to go after the myriad of less transparent asian makers who are flooding the market with garbage gibsony fakes...chibson!




    cheers

  6. #5

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    From what I understand, Gibson and Heritage came to a legal agreement in 1991, and now Gibson wants to renege, and is threatening Heritage.

  7. #6

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    I'm a Gibson guy, always have been. I own, and have owned, several. But this sort of thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This whole mess reminds me of why I dumped my KKR stock.

    I hope sanity prevails.

  8. #7

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    They’ve coexisted for decades and I’m hopeful their arrangement will continue.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug B
    Gibson is only suing because Heritage makes better quality guitars.

    Who is Gibson going to sue next? Eastman? Collins? Other?
    Actually it is Heritage that is suing Gibson


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  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Actually it is Heritage that is suing Gibson


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    Technically that's true. But Gibson fired the first shot when they told Heritage they would sue them unless they ceased making the guitars in question while claiming trademark violations

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    the real shame is that its easier for gibson to go after long time larger manufacturers who play by the books, like heritage and dean, than it is to go after the myriad of less transparent asian makers who are flooding the market with garbage gibsony fakes...chibson!




    cheers
    Yea, eBay has *sponsored* ads like the one for a Chinese "2018 Top Quality Byrdland JAZZ Hollow Body Electric Guitar Sunburst Gold Hardware" at a NEW retail price tag of ... wait for it...US $319.90! "Sponsored" means that the seller paid eBay to feature the ad... and eBay took the money and gave the ad a bump in search results. Which is pathetic; essentially, they are willing participants in the scam.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Yea, eBay has *sponsored* ads like the one for a Chinese "2018 Top Quality Byrdland JAZZ Hollow Body Electric Guitar Sunburst Gold Hardware" at a NEW retail price tag of ... wait for it...US $319.90! "Sponsored" means that the seller paid eBay to feature the ad... and eBay took the money and gave the ad a bump in search results. Which is pathetic; essentially, they are willing participants in the scam.
    But those are kinda different. Whereas they are using the Byrdland name, the design is not really a close copy.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Technically that's true. But Gibson fired the first shot when they told Heritage they would sue them unless they ceased making the guitars in question while claiming trademark violations
    Yes, of course. Totally agree. I'm just OCD about individual facts. Gibson has not sued Heritage, but yes, has bullied and sought to intimidate Heritage in many ways and so they legitimately deserve being sued to cease and desist their harassment of Heritage.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Actually it is Heritage that is suing Gibson


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    Perhaps I should have said that Gibson is"pressuring" Heritage instead of "sueing " them.?
    Last edited by Doug B; 03-15-2020 at 02:11 PM.

  15. #14

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    Gibson should just concentrate on making consistently good guitars.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarcarver
    Gibson should just concentrate on making consistently good guitars.
    Since McCarthy left Gibson, that's the only thing they have never, ever been able to do.

    If you ask me, Heritage is the REAL Gibson company. The rest was just legal brand usurpation.
    Last edited by LtKojak; 03-16-2020 at 06:50 AM.

  17. #16

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    Well I must now eat my words : Come back Henry

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Well I must now eat my words : Come back Henry
    Is he even alive? He must be close to hundred years old...

  19. #18

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    Marketing and Greed are the drivers here for Gibson. I'm sure they could really care less about Heritage as a threat. It's more that if they can ,why can't anybody else?
    Maybe at the level of business they do they need to be concerned to keep it rolling. But I tend to agree with just make the best products and let the rest go.
    Especially the whole branding merchandise coffee cups,etc.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak
    Is he even alive? He must be close to hundred years old...
    Henry Edward Michael Juszkiewicz
    Born - March 3, 1953 (age 67 years),

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    Henry Edward Michael Juszkiewicz
    Born - March 3, 1953 (age 67 years),
    lol

  22. #21

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    Intellectual property lawyer guitar player buddies, please don't be offended by this. But, Think of the money that both companies could invest in building wonderful archtops, instead of pissing it away on lawyers. Un-f-ing believable! It's like a circular firing squad.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    But those are kinda different. Whereas they are using the Byrdland name, the design is not really a close copy.
    That's what is particularly offensive to me. Heritage isn't trying to use Gibson's trademarks or designs. These guys are appropriating the name because they think it'll help to sell their crap guitars. And, who knows, maybe it does.

  24. #23

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    Gibsons response to Heritage lawsuit. It alledges that Heritage was not adhering to the agreement.

    Gibson issues formal response to Heritage lawsuit - Guitar.com | All Things Guitar

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  25. #24

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    "In 2016, Heritage Guitars was acquired by a real estate development group. In 2017, BandLab acquired a majority stake in Heritage Guitars that created a partnership consisting of a Singapore based conglomerate (run by the son of a billionaire) and the Chicago based real-estate group. In 2019, Heritage initiated conversations with Gibson centered around leveraging Gibson’s iconic site for broader commercial purposes, including the plans to convert the (Parsons Street, Kalamazoo) factory into a hotel. A meeting was held, but no further action was taken.

    Recently, Heritage launched some new guitars that clearly did not respect, nor adhere to, the original contract. In fact, several customers had inquired if they were actually Gibson Guitars. Heritage Guitars also took the liberty of using language on their website that was misleading and misrepresenting, which added to the confusion."

    Which new guitars are they talking about?

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Can't we all just get along?

    Well... no. Apparently humans can't do that.

  27. #26

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    [QUOTE=citizenk74;1016051]I'm a Gibson guy, always have been. I own, and have owned, several. But this sort of thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This whole mess reminds me of why I dumped my KKR stock.

    I hope sanity prevails.[/QUOTE

    K, you and me both,
    but since the arrival of James Curleigh ,( ex Levi;s ) Gibson's policy appears to indicate
    contempt for their long term customers and particularly Archtop enthusiasts, concentrating
    on Les Pauls & Thinlines of every hue, I have nothing against either, but in my advanced
    years I cannot cope with the weight of an LP. Old Fogey's like me prefer lightweight & tone
    of a good Archtop, , until recently I had , an L5CES, a Wesmo, a Byrdland Tal Farlow an
    L4CES, and others. Hankering for a replacement for the first two mentioned, i was unable
    to obtain a new Gibson ,or a pristine condition used model ,in a reasonable price range.
    Fortunately , I have a number of friends on the Forum whose recommendations
    i rely upon completely. As you might know , I ordered a Campellone Deluxe, the
    quality , finish , build time , and Price , blow Gibsons out of the water. QED

    kind regards Silverfoxx

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    Gibsons response to Heritage lawsuit. It alledges that Heritage was not adhering to the agreement.

    Gibson issues formal response to Heritage lawsuit - Guitar.com | All Things Guitar

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
    In this article Gibson mentions Heritage putting out new models which is not true. In fact, they have scaled down the number of models to streamline production and get quality up. Their new guitars are consistently well executed.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Yea, eBay has *sponsored* ads like the one for a Chinese "2018 Top Quality Byrdland JAZZ Hollow Body Electric Guitar Sunburst Gold Hardware" at a NEW retail price tag of ... wait for it...US $319.90! "Sponsored" means that the seller paid eBay to feature the ad... and eBay took the money and gave the ad a bump in search results. Which is pathetic; essentially, they are willing participants in the scam.
    eBay relies partly on user reporting of fake items. There is a "report item" link for every listing and it takes to you a page where you can select "copyright and trademark" then "counterfeit".

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarcarver
    In this article Gibson mentions Heritage putting out new models which is not true. In fact, they have scaled down the number of models to streamline production and get quality up. Their new guitars are consistently well executed.
    I couldn't figure out these "new models" that they were referring to either. The only new things that come to mind are the Artisan Aged Collection which are not new models, and the recently relaunched Harmony brand which has the same owner as Heritage, BandLab, and are apparently also made at 225 Parsons Street, but none of the new Harmony models could possibly be mistaken for a Gibson.

  31. #30

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    1984 -2017 Gibson:
    "Sure, Heritage, we can shake hands and agree that you can still build guitars that kinda resemble ours. Just make a few modifications to the LP style horn on your H150; Use 'solid' rims vs. laminate on your H535 and H555 models; improve on (and sell em for a LOT less) our old ES225, ES175 and L4 with your newfangled H225, H575 and Sweet 16; and finally, go with a 17 degree peghead to prevent headstock breaks on ALL of your models...and we'll be good...!"

    2018 - 2020 Gibson:
    "Hey Heritage, now that we've gone through some really tough times, ditched Henry J., limited our models and stopped making archtops, and oh yea, and since YOUR guitars are available at Guitar Center, Sweetwater and other big box retailers, just forget about our previous 'gentleman's agreement'. We'd appreciate it if you'd cease and desist making ANY guitars that can fairly compete with our dwindling product line and market share..."

  32. #31

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    ^ it is a very good point about the recent sale of heritage to bandlab singapore...very far cry from the initial gibson-heritage agreement...which was between the old gibson workers staying behind in kalamazoo with heritage and the newer gibson facilities in tenn....when bandlab bought em out and let go many of the original workers...and changed the template..i do think gibson has the right to re-negotiate

    intellectual property, in this day and age, is increasingly valuable..and something definitely worth protecting...as counterfeiters abound...heritage is no longer a small company run by old gibson employees!!


    cheers

  33. #32

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    Those are fair points. IP needs to be protected. And Gibson has surely made huge contributions to the development of the guitar.

    I'd be fine with them saying "Our deal was with Marvin Lamb and them guys. Not these Bandlab guys. They have deep pockets, maybe, and we want to re-negotiate."

    But saying new models are being released that are even more indistinguishable from Gibsons...that part just sounds odd.

    I wish the best for both companies.

  34. #33

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    "Gibson should just concentrate on making consistently good guitars"

    What !!
    A reversal of corporate philosophy?
    Say it isn't so. .

  35. #34

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    I agree just make guitars, guys.

    I did not know Heritage (under Bandlab) owns Harmony. I’m an old Harmony guy myself.

    I’ve got a Jones for this amp:

    Harmony 8418 Reissue Tube Combo Amplifier (2019 Limited | Reverb

  36. #35

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    “I'd be fine with them saying "Our deal was with Marvin Lamb and them guys. Not these Bandlab guys.”

    Except that’s not how corporate law works.

  37. #36

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    Maybe they should just switch headstock shapes and call it good

  38. #37

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    "This needs to be turned up to 10." Yes!! My kind of loudener!!!

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    This is an interesting switch:

    Heritage Sues Gibson
    Man bites dog.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Yes, of course. Totally agree. I'm just OCD about individual facts. Gibson has not sued Heritage, but yes, has bullied and sought to intimidate Heritage in many ways and so they legitimately deserve being sued to cease and desist their harassment of Heritage.
    Good point Professor.

    First lesson learned in law school when reading a case: Who is suing who over what and where?

    Tony D.

  41. #40

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    Suits... I "thought" that the trademark / patent of the Gibson (LP in particular) body design was settled long ago as unenforceable since the trademark was submitted by Gibson in the late 80's / early 90's well after cloners were copying the design? On what legal ground does Gibson have to muscle other makes into not making a body design?

    Has something changed in case law that attorneys here can weigh in?

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI
    Suits... I "thought" that the trademark / patent of the Gibson (LP in particular) body design was settled long ago as unenforceable since the trademark was submitted by Gibson in the late 80's / early 90's well after cloners were copying the design? On what legal ground does Gibson have to muscle other makes into not making a body design?

    Has something changed in case law that attorneys here can weigh in?
    I think the short answer is because they can. As we saw with the Blurred Lines catastrophe, anything can happen in a courtroom. So Gibson can bludgeon smaller competitors with endless discovery and motions until they give up. Those competitors with the resources to contest Gibson's bullying may nevertheless find themselves on the wrong side of a decision even if the facts warrant otherwise. BTW I bought out the Dean booth at the 1980 NAMM Show. Seems like that would've been the time for Gibson to claim design infringement.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    This is all way above my pay grade. May justice be done...
    Justice is in the mind of the beholder. Resolution was once achieved but was transient. I am not privy to the agreements between Gibson and Heritage. But I will note that when Gibson left Kalamazoo, it sold the plant to Heritage with the full understanding of what Heritage was planning. My best guess is that Gibson was so huge that no one there thought Heritage would amount to much. With changes in Gibson management and ownership over the years, new Gibson blood wanted to address any competition from Heritage, as Fender also desired. Both companies sued Heritage long ago and came to agreements. With newer blood at Gibson, there is more appetite to suppress Heritage.

    I'd love to see Gibson take proper ownership if they'd do it right. Now both Heritage and Gibson are owned by those far removed from that which launched both companies. I fear there will never be another McCarty era.

    Some may recall that in 2012 Hostess announced it's moving to Mexico to make its Twinkies. That was demoralizing. But that wasn't how it ended. Below is some follow up. Perhaps electric guitar building, an essential part of Americana, can be preserved as well.




    .................................................. ................................
    Dean Metropoulos, the billionaire boss of private equity firm Metropoulos & Co., has made many a fortune reviving classic consumer brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bumble Bee Tuna, and Chef Boyardee. His recent deal, buying a shuttered Hostess Brands, might be his sweetest return of all. Along with Andy Jhawar of Apollo Global, Metropoulos paid $410 million for the bankrupt baker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Sno Balls. After $250 million of capital improvements, Metropoulos and Apollo are sitting on a gain of about $2 billion. How did they pull it off? Modernizing technology, logistics, marketing, and by making the Twinkie--famous for its immortal shelf life--stay fresh even longer.
    Dean Metropoulos joined The Forbes Interview podcast to talk about how he revived Hostess back to life, how he spots brands ripe for rehab, and the future of American manufacturing.

  44. #43

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    I love me some Twinkies, especially the rare Banana flavored ones.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled program...."Heritage vs. Gibson, episode 2020"

  45. #44

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    Twinkies... flashback... 32 years ago. I was a first year professor teaching and finishing a doctoral dissertation with two little kids at home under the care of my (also full-time employed) wife. Stress was enormous. I was in my office about 3 AM slogging on that doctoral dissertation and went down the hall to the vending machine. Looked at the Twinkies. Then I thought I heard voices in the hallway... nothing. Bought the Twinkie and went back to my office. Voices following me all the way back. Sat at my desk with the Twinkie in front of me, hearing the voices.

    I felt like the alcoholic who has hit bottom. Looking at the Twinkie on my desk, I said aloud "Has it really come to this?"

    The phone rang and startled me so bad I knocked the twinkie all over my desk, showering books and papers with it's debris... the wife calling to tell me to come home. Nothing is worth this much exhaustion. I agreed.

    I always associate Twinkies with hitting bottom.

  46. #45

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    "not privy to the agreements between Gibson and Heritage"
    The rest is noise.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilotony
    Good point Professor.

    First lesson learned in law school when reading a case: Who is suing who over what and where?

    Tony D.
    That begs the question, between Gibson and Heritage, which one is Marbury and which one is Madison?

    Or which one is Hadley and which one is Baxendale?

  48. #47

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    Tallahassee (zombieland) LOVED them!


  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    "not privy to the agreements between Gibson and Heritage"
    The rest is noise.
    Hey our specialty is noise!

  50. #49

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    Gibson has brought a good bit of their difficulties over the years upon themselves. Their QC has been a joke at times and hit and miss at best. There are countless stories of their poor QC including one of my own that involved a custom ordered L5CES from a local dealer. I had waited about 2 years for the custom shop build. It was to be my "dream guitar" that I had wanted since my teen years in the '60s. From the moment I opened the case and played the first notes through it the guitar fretted out on two separate frets and I couldn't completely dial it out. Worst of all, the tail piece was mounted very obviously off center. The neck was huge! It was by far the largest neck I had ever played on a guitar. I had no idea the neck would come in that size. When I ordered the guitar I just had them order an L5CES. That's it. I expected the neck to be more along the lines of necks of the mid to late '60s. That was my fault for not playing an L5CES. But I couldn't find one to audition anywhere near where I lived.

    I wondered if the guitar had ever been inspected. I had already waited as long as I could so I ended up trading it in for another guitar and amp. This was the late '90s and I've had so many guitars and amps since then I don't even remember what I traded it for. What a disappointment?!!

    However, Gibson later redeemed themselves in my eyes. I later ran across a one off, gorgeous, transparent red, ES5 Switchmaster with three P-90 pickups, on Private Reserve Guitars. This was a killer guitar. Exquisitely made custom shop guitar and sounding wonderful. The fit and finish was much like you would have expected during Gibson's best years. Same with a Gibson 1954 LPGT that I purchased about the same time. Great guitar. I don't know the level of quality of current Gibsons. But I do know they are quite capable of building top notch stuff. I just hope they see fit to return to building top quality guitars in general and archtops of yore. Maybe they have, except for the archtops? Sorry for the long post.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    not privy to the agreements between Gibson and Heritage - The rest is noise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Hey our specialty is noise!
    And thank god for that, eh? Hooray for noise!