Court Reverses Decision In DEAN Vs. GIBSON Lawsuit, New Trial To Be Held

Dean Guitars and Gibson Brands have been going at it in court for a while over copyright disputes.


Long story short, Dean lost a lawsuit filed by Gibson in May 2019 for infringement upon Gibson’s Flying V, Explorer, ES and SG body shapes; on their “Dove Wing” headstock design; and both the the “Hummingbird” name and the “Moderne” trademark.

Armadillo countersued in 2020, saying Gibson was engaging in “tortious interference with Armadillo’s business relationships and/or contracts.” There was a whole lotta legal back and forth, but now The U.S. Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled in favor of Dean Guitars by granting a full reversal and a new trial.

“We are incredibly pleased with the court’s decision,” said Pam Rubinson, CEO of Dean parent company Armadillo Enterprises. “This court’s ruling affirms our commitment to Dean’s legacy V and Z models that have been in continuous production since 1977 and reinforces our belief in fair competition within the guitar industry.

“We have always strived to respect the history of guitar craftsmanship while bringing our own unique flair to the market. This is a complete vindication, we have fought this battle and won on our behalf of Dean Guitars and every other guitar manufacturer in the industry.”

Ron Bienstock, of Scarinci Hollenbeck LLC, attorney for Armadillo, stated: “Amongst other issues, the court recognized the history of the Dean brand in their longstanding use of these guitar models, as well as countless other guitar companies that have produced and marketed these same guitars.”

So stay tuned for more guitar-related legal madness.

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