Following reports that Gibson is suing Armadillo Distribution Enterprises, the parent company of Dean Guitars, for trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and trademark dilution, Armadillo has responded with a bullish statement.
According to Blabbermouth, Armadillo said: "We believe that Gibson's claims are baseless and will vigorously defend ourselves.
"As the proud owner of some of the most famous brands in the music industry, we respect and value the intellectual property rights of others. But we also recognize that some things are just too commonplace and basic for one company to claim as its property.
"Dean Guitars has been continuously offering the V and Z-shaped guitars at issue in the lawsuit since at least 1976 - for over the past forty years. And Dean Guitars is not alone; other guitar companies have for decades used the commonplace guitar shapes that Gibson now tries to claim exclusive rights to."
It’s alleged that Gibson believes that seven of its trademarks have been infringed, including the Flying V, Explorer, ES and SG body shapes, the ‘Dove Wing’ headstock design, ‘Hummingbird’ name and ‘Moderne’ trademark. Reports suggest that it’s preparing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit seeking Armadillo’s profits, damages sustained by Gibson, the costs of the action, and the profits and damages “to be trebled or otherwise multiplied to the extent permitted by statute”.
Armadillo’s initial statement suggests that Dean Guitars won’t be taking this lying down, though, and sets the scene for a potential legal battle.
The dispute follows the publication and then pulling of a Gibson video featuring Director of Brand Experience Mark Agnesi, in which he said: “You have been warned; we’re here to protect our iconic legacy.”