Another legal dispute with Gibson, this time with Satellite Amplifiers
Satellite Amplifiers claims to have a federal trademark for the Coronet design and has been selling its own take on the model since 2017. However, it looks like Gibson isn’t happy with this arrangement, and is planning on starting court proceedings to stop the company from making the guitars. The design was originally owned by Epiphone and therefore, now owned by Gibson.
Satellite Amplifiers vs Gibson
Satellite Amplifiers owner Adam B. Grimm has posted on Instagram stating that Gibson is planning on taking his company to court over the Epiphone Coronet design. According to Grimm, Gibson “abandoned the model in 1999”, and therefore he has a right to make them, especially since he has a federal trademark for his version of the classic guitar design.
“Gibson Guitars is attempting to invalidate my federal trademark for the Coronet,” Grimm wrote. “I know that Gibson abandoned the model in 1999, and never bothered to even attempt to protect the model or keep it alive. Ever. Until now. Why? Because myself and a few others have brought it back to life, and introduced it to a new audience that never even knew the model existed.” – Adam B. Grimm
The original Epiphone Coronet model was first introduced in the late 1950s as an entry-level guitar, and was still in production until about 1970. Eventually, some reissue models appeared in the 1980s. Gibson very occasionally brought them out for a release, but not often, and definitely not for quite sometime.
So, is this a reasonable claim from Satellite Amplification? Grimm says he offered to purchase the brand from Gibson after receiving the legal notice, but has yet to receive an official response from the guitar giant.
Let us know what you think about this development in the comments section below. Does Satellite Amplifiers have a valid claim for the vintage guitar design? If the model was indeed ‘abandoned’, shouldn’t Grimm’s company be allowed to produce it?
In the US, a trademark is considered abandoned if unused for 3 years (subject to certain conditions) after which another party can file to acquire and register the trademark at which time the original owner is notified and has to file a protest if they want to make a case to retain it. If Satellite applied to register the Coronet trademark and Gibson didn’t respond or file an objection under the law the Feds had every right to award the ownership of the trademark to Satellite and Satellite has legal ownership. Sounds like Gibson screwed up and hopefully the courts show them the door.
Gibson is a frantic hot mess , 500 million in debt and chapter 11 bankruptcy but they dug they’re own grave. What’s even worse is them suing everyone to keep the lights on.
I support Gibson and as a collector of many top end guitars and a musician I feel there is too many small company’s making reissue or copy guitars, take the Chinese models they are bottom end crap but the Japanese were excellent as in most things they make – – so if your going to make a style of guitar then design one don’t copy another and say I made this also if he makes this Cornet model based on an old Gibson/Epiphone model it’s value would 80 to 140 dollars and that’s it.
While a Coronet may or may not be worth “80 to 140 dollars” as you say, it is somewhat ironic that Satellite can make their version(s) and sell them for $3K+ and have folks wanting to buy them (and be willing to pay non-refundable deposits on them) and Gibson can’t seem to be able to give them away (or even seemingly be interested in even protecting their trademark until after the horse is gone). Sort of funny really.
No, he’s right. It’s a 100 dollar guitar, and 3k is simply a rip-off. Gibson might have a case.
If a Coronet is only worth 100 dollars then a Les Paul Standard should only be worth about 400 dollars which means Gibson is also ripping everyone off by selling them for 2-3k and up too.
Well they have been, which is why I don’t own one.
But it is an unfair comparison. The Coronet is two, maybe three pieces of wood, cheap finish, no buff,. The correct comparison is a les Paul junior, and those don’t cost 3k.
I’ve seen Coronets, Olympics not to mention almost every model of SG’s and Les Paul’s sold on Ali Express and DH Gate. Don’t see the Big Bad Ass Gibson going after them! They must be a bunch of little Pussy’s only picking on the little guys