The parent company of Dean Guitars has commented on the lawsuit filed by Gibson Brands, Inc., alleging trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and trademark dilution.
According to Guitar.com, Gibson has accused Armadillo Enterprises of infringing on seven of its trademarks, including the body shape design of the Flying V, Explorer, ES and SG, as well as the "Dove Wing" headstock design, the "Hummingbird" name and the "Moderne" trademark. The lawsuit, which was filed in a Texas court, also accuses Armadillo of trademark counterfeiting — effectively claiming that Armadillo is trying to deceive or mislead the public into thinking that the guitars made by Dean are in fact Gibsons, or have some connection to Gibson.
Earlier today, Armadillo released the following statement: "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."
Last week, Gibson uploaded a since-deleted video to YouTube in which director of brand experience Mark Agnesi discussed trademark infringement. In the video, Agnesi cautioned other guitar builders: "You have been warned. We're looking out and we're here to protect our iconic legacy."
Gibson is 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."