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Gibson Expert Partially Blocked as Guitar Shape Trial Approaches

March 15, 2021, 11:09 PM

The distributor for Dean- and Luna-branded guitars earned a partial win in its bid to block an expert ahead of a trial over whether Gibson Brands Inc.'s guitar shapes have become generic.

Gibson’s expert clearly misstated trademark law during his deposition on whether the shapes had become generic but not in his written report, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas said in an opinion. The expert, Mike Rock, can still opine that the guitars aren’t generic, but not on the basis that no amount of copycats could make the shape unprotectable.

The ruling clarifies a ...