March 19, 2020 I Legal

Heritage Takes Legal Action Against Gibson

Heritage Guitars has officially taken legal action against Gibson Brands over alleged trademark infringement since Gibson changed ownership in 2018.

Heritage Guitars, which was started by several former Gibson employees after Gibson moved from its original factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1985, claims that since the company opened there has been tension between it and Gibson over the look of its guitars.

Those legal battles ended in 1991 with a confidential agreement, which according to Heritage’s filing, allowed the two companies to go ” “their separate ways, each selling its own well-known guitars into the market, with no problems or issues.”

The current filing from Heritage alleges that “Now Gibson, via KKR, seeks to undo the resolution achieved in 1991 and followed by both parties for 29 years, by claiming phantom breaches of the 1991 settlement by Heritage.

“In February 2019, shortly after KKR took over Gibson, Gibson wrote to Heritage and essentially claimed that Heritage had been violating the settlement agreement for decades. Gibson demanded that Heritage essentially cease its business as the only solution that Gibson would accept.”

“Yesterday’s action was about us standing up and showing we’re not going to be bullied by companies that lack the integrity to stand by their word,” wrote Heritage in an official statement. “Our filing calls on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to stop the campaign of harassment from Gibson’s new management once and for all, and to make a declaratory judgment which asserts our right to continue to operate peacefully as we have done since we came to an amicable resolution in 1991.”

Unlike Gibson’s other recent lawsuit troubles, Heritage is only seeking a return to the 29 years of peace enjoyed by the two companies in the ‘90s until 2020.

More News

See all