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> Japanese Guitar Replicas
KenA
post Apr 10 2015, 01:06 PM
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Hi, in my search for guitars for sale in Japan I ended up finding info about topics like: Replicas, Counterfeit, Lawsuit, etc. I've got the general view of what happened in the 70ies, like Takamine/Martin lawsuit, and many others. What I don't know is what about nowadays?, because I've saw that Fernandes own, among many guitars companies, a particular one named Burny who still ( this one was under a lawsuit also ) makes Gibson copies. The question is: is it 'legal' today?

Fernandes - Burny Guitars

This one appears to be a very good one (never heard off before) : Cool Z Guitars

This looks better than the originals: History Guitars

This post has been edited by KenA: Apr 10 2015, 01:16 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 10 2015, 04:48 PM
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"Legal" is a pretty broad term in it's application where international law goes smile.gif These vendors are doing a good
job making guitars that look a LOT like other brands. But that's true of many vendors. smile.gif

I"ve heard good things about the FERNANDES guitars but I've never owned one. I've always wanted one of the
Burny hide matsumoto models smile.gif They look just like the BC Rich Mockingbird which was one of hide's fave guitar shapes.
But when Fernandes gave him an endorsement and BC Rich didn't, they started making the guitars he liked smile.gif

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QUOTE (KenA @ Apr 10 2015, 08:06 AM) *
Hi, in my search for guitars for sale in Japan I ended up finding info about topics like: Replicas, Counterfeit, Lawsuit, etc. I've got the general view of what happened in the 70ies, like Takamine/Martin lawsuit, and many others. What I don't know is what about nowadays?, because I've saw that Fernandes own, among many guitars companies, a particular one named Burny who still ( this one was under a lawsuit also ) makes Gibson copies. The question is: is it 'legal' today?

Fernandes - Burny Guitars

This one appears to be a very good one (never heard off before) : Cool Z Guitars

This looks better than the originals: History Guitars



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KenA
post Apr 10 2015, 05:10 PM
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Not sure, but maybe a guitar 'shape' like Stratocaster and Les Paul is so well known that any manufacturer can use the same shape as long as they don't use the logos? (since Patents ends after 20 years?) ... like a barber shave with a different brand as Gillette? ... or a guitar string, but not Ernie Ball, nor D'addario, etc?


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 10 2015, 06:08 PM
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Anybody can do anything that they are willing to go to court for essentially smile.gif But as far as the law goes, as long as the copy doesn't create "Confusion" among the customer base, it's typically OK.

E.G. I can make a guitar brand called TODD GUITARS and give it a Les Paul shape and be fine smile.gif Many vendors have ripped of the Les Paul shape. However, if i made a guitar brand called GYBSON GUITARS and copied the les paul shape and called it a LESS PAULY, then I"m open to being sued by the fine folks at Gibson.

However, despite direct copies being technically "illegal" there are wads of Chinese vendors make cheap fake copes of pricey guitars and seem to get away with it. They are in China after all where copyright protection is weak and half way around the world from the folks at Gibson.



QUOTE (KenA @ Apr 10 2015, 12:10 PM) *
Not sure, but maybe a guitar 'shape' like Stratocaster and Les Paul is so well known that any manufacturer can use the same shape as long as they don't use the logos? (since Patents ends after 20 years?) ... like a barber shave with a different brand as Gillette? ... or a guitar string, but not Ernie Ball, nor D'addario, etc?



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klasaine
post Apr 10 2015, 06:31 PM
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I have a lawsuit era Ibanez 335 copy. Ibby changed up after Gibson 'filed' a lawsuit.

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One of the best guitars I own!


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Mertay
post Apr 10 2015, 07:50 PM
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Happened to ESP too; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP_Eclipse

I'm not sure about the details on "how different" the body shape must be but seems it doesn't last long if it sounds good biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Mertay: Apr 10 2015, 07:50 PM


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Daeron
post Apr 10 2015, 07:58 PM
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My Navigator LP-STD is a replica of Gibson's Les Paul 58 made by the custom shop of ESP. They make this guitars for years, so it may be legal ! wink.gif
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KenA
post Apr 10 2015, 08:37 PM
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Another good ex. would be Charvel guitars, they are pretty much hot rodded Fender Strats. Now that Fender owns Charvel it probably doesn't matter, but it wasn't so in the 80ies, right?


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klasaine
post Apr 11 2015, 02:16 AM
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Fender never really got too bent out of shape at any of the manufacturers that copied them. Technically Leo copied that headstock design from Bigsby (who got it from an old European acoustic builder ... copying a violin).

My Ibby is exactly the same dimensions as a 335 - exactly.
The model that proceeds it - the AS models - is a little smaller all the way around and the cutaways are a different shape.
As long as your dimensions are slightly different and you don't copy the logo you'll probably 'win' in court. Case in point PRS with their Singlecut v. Gibson LP. Ultimately PRS prevailed (as they should have). Though in Gibson's defense ... if you feel your trademark is being infringed upon and you don't contest it, then you can never contest it. Why now and not before? the court would ask. With that PRS suit, Gibson put everyone on notice that if you get close, we will take action ... and can you afford to win that battle?

This post has been edited by klasaine: Apr 11 2015, 05:19 PM


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