While Gibson’s Guitar Gently Weeps

DuetsBlog reports that Gibson Guitar is attempting to register the shape of its guitar bodies as a product configuration trademark, described in U.S. Application Serial No. 86168793 as “the uniquely shaped three-dimensional configuration for the body portion of the guitar with a curved base, rounded body shape, and stylized cutaway rounded curves at the top left and right of the guitar body.”  The pending application was recently published for opposition, and was jointly opposed last week by no less than fifteen different parties, all claiming that they will be damaged by the registration of the mark.  The fifteen opposers (U.S. Music Corporation, ESP Shibuya Enterprises, Cordoba Music Group, Collings Guitars, Ed Roman Enterprises, Armadillo Enterprises, Schecter Guitar Research, Westheimer Corporation, Peavey Electronics Corporation, Warwick GmbH & Co. Music Equipment KG, James Trussart Guitars, JS Technologies, Premier Builders Guild, Sadowsky Guitars, and John Hornby Skewes & Co.) allege in their Notice of Opposition that dozens of guitar manufacturers have been using the claimed guitar configuration since the 1960s, and that as a result of this “rampant use by third parties, the ‘793 Body Shape is a generic electric guitar body shape, does not function as a source identifier and has become a standard style of guitar.”  Gibson has not yet filed an Answer to the Notice of Opposition, but it will be interesting to see what substantive arguments the company will make to establish an exclusive right to the claimed guitar body shape, and whether such arguments will ultimately be persuasive to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  Read the full article here, and the Notice of Opposition here.

Reposted from DuetsBlog.