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Satellite Amplifiers Coronet

Satellite Amplifiers Coronet  ·  Source: Satellite Amplifiers

The fight between David and Goliath has finally come to a close. Following a legal battle with Gibson over the use of the design, Satellite Amplifiers has given up its trademark over the Coronet electric guitar. This time the giant has won the battle, and it eventually came down to who had the deepest pockets.

Satellite Amplifiers admits defeat

It was probably always going to end this way, as Gibson has an army of lawyers and Satellite Amplifiers was always the plucky underdog in this argument, without the money to carry on fighting the battle. Satellite Amplifiers had a “federal trademark” which the company claimed allowed it to build its own version of the Gibson-owned Coronet design, originally built by Epiphone in the late ’50s. As Gibson owns the Epiphone brand, and has done so for a very long time, it held the rights to the name and design of this guitar. So rightfully, it was a little annoyed at this claim to its property.

Epiphone's Wilshire, Coronet and Crestwood Custom are back

Epiphone’s Wilshire, Coronet and Crestwood Custom are back

Epiphone Coronet

The original Coronet guitars were designed and made by Epiphone in the late ’50s, with the original production run ending around 1970. Gibson, who acquired Epiphone in 1957, has on occasion re-released versions of the model over the years. The latest re-release was announced last month and so, it makes perfect sense that the guitar giant would want to protect the design.

David versus Goliath

Satellite Amplifiers announced via Instagram that it has “surrendered” its trademark and has cited an inability to pursue the legal battle due to Gibson’s financial superiority. Therefore, Satellite Amplifiers has ceased building its versions of the Coronet guitar with immediate effect. It had been officially producing its version since 13 February 2018, when it had registered a trademark for the Coronet. But now that has all finished and the company has relinquished the name.

“Earlier today, I gave up the “Coronet” name trademark and have ceased production of the Satellite Coronet guitar, effective immediately… I cannot compete in that fight against a major corporation when its (sic) is pitting finances against each other. We tried to do this civily (sic) and responsibly on our side at every turn”- Satellite owner Adam B. Grimm

Epiphone Coronet

Epiphone Coronet

What do you think?

Should older guitar designs become fair game for others to use commercially? Did Satellite Amplifiers have a valid claim to the design, or was Gibson always the rightful owner of the Coronet design and name? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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by Jef

17 responses to “Satellite Amplifiers gives up as Gibson takes back the Coronet name”

  1. eat yr Ghost says:

    I vowed never to buy Gibson or Epiphone again after the original tone deaf video declaring war on smaller guitar manufacturers. This solidifies that decision. Epiphone are putting out guitars I’m intrigued by but I’m not lining the pockets of vulture capitalists and lawyers.

  2. Fi says:

    wrong business direction.
    while Fender keep pumping fresh new blood to their guitar and they never care about thousands of small brand copying their design…Gibson just want to bring back their oldies from other small guitar maker.

  3. Eric says:

    Sorry, guys – but unless Satellite paid to “borrow” Gibson’s patented design back in the day, it’s nothing more than another small company stealing a design after owner production has discontinued. With Gibson under new ownership, they have every right and should protect their heritage. Doesn’t Satellite have the creative force to either “tweak” the design or, better yet come up with something original?

  4. Richard Slade says:

    So if I put out an antique car and call it the model P, that’s obviously a model T copy, should Ford ignore me and let me profit from their history and previous designs? No way… I’ll always buy a Gibson.

  5. Dan Stine says:

    What an awful business model. I will never buy Gibson again. I don’t own a Satellite amp, but it will be my next amp purchase for sure.

    Support the mom and pop businesses.

  6. Nate says:

    Gibson is, and has been for quite some time, an absolute garbage brand. I thought maybe with a new CEO they might turn the corner, but instead of investing in improved quality control and customer service, they hired that douche-nozzle Agnesi and then declared war on small guitar makers. Fuck Gibson. Nothing but way over-priced firewood.

  7. Punk Rock Frank says:

    Seems to me that they’re picking on the smallest company they can find. I’m kind of surprised they haven’t gone after PRS, Jay Turser, or even smaller luthiers. It may not be the case but that’s what it looks like. Otherwise, why aren’t they suing ESP over the Explorer bodies that people like James Hetfield (and full disclosure, I primarily play an ESP Explorer bass) or Jackson over the Flying V? It’s crap and while I’ve kind of always been on the fuck Gibson bandwagon this is just another reason why.

  8. Rotnroby says:

    I guess it’s fair game for Gibson to round up the heard. I’m a vintage snob so it’s a moot point that Gibson is after the little guy. I think the Coronet model , is it ok for me to say that name ? Or are you gonna send the Lawyers to shut me up?
    Anyway the Coronet is kinda a dog anyway.. Gibson was the shit back in the golden years but those years are long gone now they are shit! Ha!

  9. Phil Hurd says:

    It was always going to end this way. The design and name are both property of Gibson.

  10. Kevin M. Bodey says:

    F c k Gibson. I sent there CEO a handwritten letter during the pandemic in March 2020, He never responded.

  11. Will B. says:

    I am sick of companies making guitars that are nothing more than a copy of Gibson Les Paul with a different headstock design. If you are going to design and make guitars , C’mon , at least come up with an original design. Quit reinventing the wheel. It has already been done. I’ll buy a Gibson every time.

  12. Gary Johnson says:

    Whilst I have some sympathy for this small guitar maker let’s not lose sight that instead of designing their own guitar they simply copied an established design and that yes, it was and always was a gibson design. I think gibson have misread the public opinion regarding their brand. For years they’ve been peddling crap sub standard equipment for maximum cost and smiling while doing this. For too long gibson have survived on historical glories and should look at how fender tackled the same problems. Yes protect your brain only when you have a brand and reputation worth protecting. For me personally, I prefer Tokai les pauls and 335’s as the quality is consistent. I still buy fender because of the quality. Gibson need to focus more on their quality control issues before setting out to destroy other makers.

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