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Gibson allegedly threatening dealers that are selling Dean Guitars

Gibson allegedly threatening dealers that are selling Dean Guitars  ·  Source: Dean/Gibson/Heritage Auctions

Gibson Flying V Mark Agnesi Play Authentic

Gibson Flying V Mark Agnesi Play Authentic  ·  Source: Gibson

Gibson CEO James ‘JC’ Curleigh has been interviewed by Jesse Knutson on Nashville’s News Channel 5 website and during the talk he announced a new program to work with boutique guitar builders.

Gibson Authorised Partnership Program

The interview, which has been uploaded to the Gibson site, starts off by talking about that infamous Play Authentic video with Mark Agnesi. The one where he warned builders to not use Gibson’s copyrighted designs and trademarks.

“Tone and timing of that video, clearly, lessons to be learned, but guess what: we’re taking down hundreds of websites, thousands of guitars we’re intercepting that are knockoffs, so it served a purpose.” James ‘JC’ Curleigh, president and CEO of Gibson

The interview then goes on to state that Gibson is planning to initially collaborate with three to four boutique guitar builders. Entering into agreements where the boutique builders acknowledge that they’re using Gibson’s trademarked body shapes.

Gibson Flying V Mark Agnesi Play Authentic

Gibson Flying V Mark Agnesi Play Authentic

Royalties and Licences

Potentially these builders may only be able to build a certain amount of those guitar shapes and will have to pay a royalty or license for the privilege. Curleigh goes on to say that Gibson would support the boutique builders with marketing.  And that it is not meant to be a revenue generator for Gibson. But a way to allow them to continue using Gibson shapes in a mutually-agreed upon way.

“We have to preserve and protect (our trademarks), but I think we can do it in a way that’s not confrontational, it’s more collaborative.

“There’s a spectrum that occurs. And the spectrum can be wide, but it can also be definitive or grey depending on how you look at it, and the definitive part is the known counterfeit/knockoffs. They truly, they see a brand that’s iconic, they see it has momentum, and they want to take – just frankly – illegitimate leverage on that momentum through counterfeit product, and you have to hit that hard, you have to stop it fast, or it gets out of control, and quite frankly, it damages your brand. But not just your brand and your business, it puts guitars out there that confuse guitarists, thinking they bought a real Gibson, so that’s this spectrum here, you really have to be tough on that.”

“While all this sort of noise was going on a month ago – about, ‘oh, Gibson goes legal,’ I mean, I gotta tell ya. I put the noise cancellation headphones on and I said: ‘We’re gonna pivot to collaboration.’ So literally, in the last 4 weeks, we’ve been starting this not just conversation, we’ve signed agreements with these collaboration partners, and then we’re like, ‘what’s next?’ Literally, I have an email from one of them saying, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we put a stamp with both of our names or something that authorizes it’s a Gibson authorization partner?’ And we’re like, ‘yeah!’ So it’s not fully thought out, but boy, it’s got good intentions behind it.”- JC Curleigh

Summer NAMM 2019

Gibson is expected to make the official announcement about the Gibson Authorized Partnership Program this Wednesday before Summer NAMM.

You can read the full interview via the link below and hear what JC has in the pipeline for Gibson and the new program. After the last few weeks and the Dean Guitars court cases that included Gibson losing the Flying V body shape trademark in EU Courts, it looks like 2019 is a year that could make or break Gibson’s reputation in the guitar industry.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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by Jef

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Zampuuji
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Gibson seems to have gone from hapless to crabby and mean spirited under their new management.
I can understand going after straight up counterfeiting of the brand wherein someone put a Gibson logo on guitar not made by Gibson, but Gibson is taking it much further than that.
I wouldn’t buy one now, because I don’t like this attitude they’re putting forth.
Bad move, J.C.


mojave rat
Guest

“…“While all this sort of noise was going on a month ago – about, ‘oh, Gibson goes legal,’ I mean, I gotta tell ya. I put the noise cancellation headphones on and I said: ‘We’re gonna pivot to collaboration.’ So literally, in the last 4 weeks, we’ve been starting this not just conversation, we’ve signed agreements with these collaboration partners, and then we’re like, ‘what’s next?’ Literally, I have an email from one of them saying, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we put a stamp with both of our names or something that authorizes it’s a Gibson authorization partner?’ And… Read more »


pfrf
Guest

I’m sorry I ever bought a Gibson guitar. These men are corporate thugs, greedy and ugly.
There are so many great guitar options these days. Why on earth would I buy a Gibson now? Never again.


Mike
Guest

This guy along with principles at Gibson couldn’t do more to turn people off from there products!


Haro
Guest

Thank God for Gibson protecting itself against thieves. I don’t want to live in a country where anybody can just steal your idea and not suffer concequenses.


Gripeson
Guest
Gripeson

I bet you think Joe Bonamassa has a lot of soul.


RTL
Guest

You mean like they stole the Les Paul design?


hhubberman
Guest

So If Gibson Capitalizes on A Guitar they have nothing to do with… And would not even endorse the Guy till he was Famous … is that Kinda the Same ???
I Think So. Howie H.


Jez
Guest

But Gibson don’t have a current production guitar with Jumbo fretwire. All their competitors do offer this. I mean the Les Paul Modern is laughable. How did they forget to put bigger fretwire on a so called “contemporary guitar”.

JC is no better than Henry IMHO.


William Paxson
Guest

Oh, for the freaking love of whatever deity you prefer, just stop digging the hole Gibson. And BTW, you’re just making the rest of us Yanks look like idiots to the rest of the world. Just freaking stop.


Jon
Guest

Does Gibson actually still make guitars? Or is this what management prefers to focus on? It would be nice if they focused on how to make their guitars better, priced competitively, etc etc


Jason
Guest
Jason

Well they do offer the cheapest USA guitar


Chris
Guest

It’s just sad. Gibson has forgotten what business they are in. Instead of making guitars they think they are in the patent licensing now. JC will be gone within a year. He doesn’t stand a chance with these VC vultures gutting Gibson currently. Bye bye Gibson. Hang on to your good ones people. The old Gibson’s is gone and never coming back. Sad.


Eric Erkkinen
Guest

I’m not surprised. The whole screw up and the backpedaling is laughable. This just exposed to us in words, what the actual company was about all along. A worldwide company that forgot what wood was and went straight to making green paper. We all knew about lawsuits and we all have read this or that, but having a company spokesperson actually express all this bullshit is something that we, as musicians now honestly can’t find mojo in our instruments. TMI gibson. You screwed up and it won’t get better. No matter how many people you “authorize” the fact is, we… Read more »


Robert Bray
Guest

Gibson guitars are very expensive and will go the way Harley Davidson are.