Body Shape Decision Reached

March 26, 2009

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office reached a decision on March 25, regarding a body-shape appeal involving Fender Musical Instruments and Stuart Spector Designs, U.S. Music Corporation, Warmoth Guitar Products, Schecter Guitar Research, ESP Guitars, Sadowsky Guitars, Lakland Musical Instruments, Peavey Electronics, Michael Tobias, and others.

The Board stated that “Fender refers to the ‘iconic’ status of these [instrument] outlines in American popular culture; however, we
must resolve a narrow issue: Do consumers associate these two-dimensional outlines, depicted in the drawings, as indicators of source?  ...  we conclude that applicant [Fender] has not established acquired distinctiveness such that these two-dimensional outlines of guitar bodies, standing alone, serve to indicate source.”

To see the complete decision, go here.


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