I woke up this morning to the news of Gibson taking Dean’s Parent Company, Armadillo Distribution Enterprises to court for 7 different reasons under Trademark Infringement, Trademark Counterfeiting, Trademark Dilution and Unfair Competition practices. The 7 things distinctly listed in the suit are the Flying V, Explorer, SG and ES body styles as well as the Dove Wing (Open Book) headstock shape and the Hummingbird Name as well as the Moderne Trademark. Gibson is seeking 2 million dollars per infringement making for a total of $14 million at stake. Gibson is suing based on the principle of the matter and to make an example out of Dean to other manufactures that copy Gibson’s designs.
Dean’s Flying V (V Series) and Explorer (Z Series) shapes have been out since the late 70s so I don’t think Gibson will gain much ground here. However, it might stand a chance against the SG style (Gran Sport,) Luna Fauna Hummingbird and the Luna Athena (ES) styled guitars since they are relatively new guitar designs from the company.
The headstock shape is 90% similar, but I don’t think it will be enough to win out in the courts. I’m honestly not entirely too sure what the Moderne kurfuffle is about – is it against the ML shape or the Headstock being similar to the Modern Reissues?
Not everyone is happy with Gibson suing Dean, but they say no publicity is bad publicity!