02 February 2011

Guitar shape legal battles

Craig Havighurst wrote a good piece for Premier Guitar entitled “Shapes of Things: A Brief History of the Peculiar Behind-the-Scenes War Over Guitar Designs

In one of the cases covered, Fender wanted to prevent low-quality knock-offs from duplicating the shapes of the Stratocaster, Telecaster, and P-bass. The thing that is ironic to me is that, when CBS bought Fender, the quality of the instruments suffered. The fact that they owned the right to the Fender brand and perhaps could have—then—trademarked the outlines didn’t keep their instruments from essentially being low-quality knock-offs of pre-CBS Fenders.

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