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Gibson Guitars Turns To Collaboration Over Confrontation

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Gibson broke it’s silence over the lawsuit cases, now takes on the challenge of balancing the brand and shifting focus to collaboration with boutique brands

 “It is time to make the modern-day shift from confrontation towards collaboration, whilst still protecting our brands, and we are committed to making this happen starting now.” – J C Curliegh, CEO, Gibson

Gibson Guitars released a statement addressing its future plans to deal with impending legal battles and brand protection.

While new management is building on the legacy, quality and craftsmanship that guitarists have come to love and expect from Gibson, they will also continue to manage and attempt to resolve the conflicts of the past.’

J C Curleigh and Gibson’s senior team came on board in November 2018. Although they ‘Inherited an iconic brand’, Gibson Guitar had a long list of issues that needed resolutions. Brand protection was one of the major issues – “where a legacy of legal issues exist with both legitimate companies in the industry infringing on iconic trademarks and with illegitimate entities attempting to counterfeit, ‘knock-off’ and pretend to be Gibson in the market.”

“The main area of brand protection on these types of issues is with trademark ownership, understanding, and assertion. Hence our recent attempts to communicate our position, which was predominantly focused on these rogue overseas players in the market. If left unchecked, these situations can lead to continued consumer confusion and can ultimately affect the integrity of an entire industry.”

Since the company came under the new management, the team has managed to deal with over 4500 knock-offs that came in from overseas. Apart from the guitars, the team has also managed to ‘take-down’ dozens of counterfeit websites that impersonated the brand to confuse customers into thinking that they were legitimate. 

Gibson has managed to garner recent attention to a few lawsuits that have been ongoing before the arrival of the new leadership in 2018. The lawsuits in the market were “with the intention of protecting its original trademark(s) rights and to avoid consumer confusion in the market.” 

“With specific regards to the inherited and ongoing legal dynamic with Dean Guitars, the new Gibson team have made several attempts to communicate with them directly to avoid a prolonged legal battle. Gibson has genuine intentions of constructive resolution that could be beneficial to both sides.”

The team stated that they have reevaluated their approach with plans to move forward with “the intention of finding more constructive solutions to managing brand protection in the industry.” 

Over the past few weeks Gibson has made significant progress in reducing counterfeit ‘attacks’ and they have entered into creative collaboration agreements with key boutique guitar makers and other related industry parties.

“I am proud of the progress we have made with our attention to quality, with the launch of the new collections, and with our renewed engagement to our Gibson authorized dealer base. At the same time, we acknowledge there are still legacy challenges to solve going forward, especially around brand protection and market solutions,” says J C Curleigh

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