Dean Guitars parent company Armadillo has been found to be in civil contempt of the recent lawsuit against them by Gibson over trademark issues. Armadillo has been accused of advertising several of its guitars despite the lawsuit, with judge Amos Mazzant saying “Armadillo is in civil contempt for listing the Dean V and Z guitars for sale on its website and Gibson should be awarded compensatory damages.”
Gibson successfully sued Dean Guitars over copyright infringement twice over various trademark disputes in the past, but recently lost when trying to hold Dean in contempt of court (ironically) as Gibson felt Dean was still advertising the models and circulating printed material.
Judge Amos L Mazzant has since thrown the suit out, saying “the parties informed the Court that they had resolved almost all the issues raised in Gibson’s contempt motions” and that “any new arguments that were raised in the pending motion were resolved by the parties.” Or basically that the lawsuit had been resolved, Gibson won, and everything that needed to be done has been done at this point. Guitar World notes that Dean’s product catalog for 2021 has been pulled and the guitars in question have no product descriptions online.
Back in May, Dean lost a lawsuit filed by Gibson 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.”
Now in a second loss for Dean, the company cannot make, advertise, or sell any guitars that infringe upon Gibson’s ES, SG, Flying V and Explorer trademarks or Hummingbird wordmark. This means the Dean Luna Athena 501, Gran Sport, V and Z models are all now out of the question.
“Gibson is once again very pleased with the outcome after years of simply trying to protect [its] brand and business through well-recognized intellectual property rights, rights that have been Gibson’s for decades,” said Gibson at the time of the second lawsuit
“Gibson’s guitar shapes are iconic and now are firmly protected for the past, present and future. From a broader perspective, this court decision is also a win for Gibson fans, artists and dealers.
“Not to mention for all of the iconic American brands that have invested in meaningful innovation and continued protection, only to see it diluted with unauthorized and often illegitimate knockoffs. Gibson can now focus attention on continuing to leverage its iconic past, and invest in future innovation, with confidence.”