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LP style esp head

posted Jan 25, 2014 17:24:51 by steffebi
For my second chibson I'm looking to do something different, Ill already talked to my seller (guitar monopoly wish did a gr8 job on the first guitar)and they wont add any to the price for doing this.

What about adding a 6turners on top ESP headstock to a les paul or a eclipse? any thoughts? Less angle on the strings from the turners to the nut will only help?

With my own custom logo on it, will I be able to legally resell it or do I have to change more on it? I'm not trying to start a business, but this will be my 9th guitar and im running out of space for them;)

[Last edited Jan 25, 2014 17:26:02]
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6 replies
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Adid said Jan 25, 2014 20:48:57
Yea, you could (probably!) sell it
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MichaelWamback said Jan 26, 2014 01:16:11
This battle was fought between Gibson and PRS as I recall. Gibson claimed a copyright in the body shape of the Les Paul. PRS claimed it was a generic guitar shape. Gibson won the early rounds but it got thrown out on appeal. So in this case, you probably would be on solid grounds.

The design elements Gibson has a trademark on are the name, the headstock shape, the truss cover shape and some of the inlay shapes.
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ChibsonsandMore said Jan 26, 2014 05:33:03
This is the ESP modified body shape anyway in his photo. The horn has the sharp point on it. The upper curve with the strap lock has a less steep incline into the curve itself. Most of the Eclipses (aside from the FT models) also have a belly cut/rib cut on the back and are about an eighth of an inch thinner than a Gibson.

Les Paul (I believe in Finland) has been determined to no longer be a legal trademark there but rather a description of a specific body shape of a guitar.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the shape itself was patented in 1959 and would have expired around 17 years after that fact.

Gibson is -mostly- worried about people selling fakes of their guitars, not things that are branded a different name. If people see a really crappy copy "Gibson Les Paul" it dilutes their brand. People would associate that low quality product for something that came out of their shop. Anyone trying to sell a product that's marketed as a Gibson guitar, while not actually coming from Gibson, should expect legal repercussions as long as they're in a country that enforces some form of copyright law.

The entire reason ESP changed the Eclipse shape (and it used to NOT have a distinctive shape) was because Gibson sued them for what I just described above. Gibson thought people would mistake that product for something they made, thus diluting their brand.

TL;RD As long as the body shape is slightly modified, as long as it does not say Gibson or have their logos anywhere, you should be fine.

As we always say, this is not real lawful information and you may want to look into local laws and regulations to find out a true answer.
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VinceRadice said Jan 26, 2014 06:34:50
theres a lesson here for all of us, customising these guitars is good way to make them sellable. no matter how you look at it, selling a direct copy of a gibson or fender is an awkward (and possibly illegal) situation, and should be avoided.
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ChibsonsandMore said Jan 26, 2014 06:41:09
You're absolutely right Vince.

It's why I chose to pay an extra $15 on my last order and got my name and logo on a headstock. It's based on the ESP Eclipse shape (because I wanted to get away from Gibson's style even more) but doesn't use ESP's inlays or newer control layout.
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stanton.kramer said Jan 27, 2014 19:26:14
It's not a bad thing to reiterate for newer members that if you buy a Chinese copy it is only for personal use and will be a "keeper" as it is legally unsaleable in the US.
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