Get Your Paper Jamz Guitars While You Can


Gibson Guitar Corp. sued a number of companies last week, alleging infringement of its guitar body shapes. The principal target of its ire appears to be WowWee Group Ltd., who makes a line of toy instruments called "Paper Jamz." These instruments are sold through numerous well-known retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, many of whom Gibson also sued. (Suing retailers being a topic for a whole 'nother discussion someday.)

Trademark geeks may recall the last installment in the getting-to-be long-running history of securing trademark rights in guitar body shapes, which was Fender Music's effort to register the shapes of its Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Precision Bass instruments. Numerous companies opposed those applications, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sustained the oppositions (PDF here), because Fender could not prove distinctiveness--it had not policed the marketplace for similarly-shaped instruments very well at all and could not prove that the shapes of its guitar bodies distinguished them from other guitar makers (despite many competitors openly suggesting that their models were Fender look-alikes).

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.