Gibson Loses Firebird Body Shape Trademark in EU Court Decision

This is Gibson's second court defeat in the European Union this year, after its attempt to trademark the Flying V shape was rejected by the EUIPO in June.
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Gibson's 2019 Firebird

Gibson's 2019 Firebird

Gibson has reportedly lost its trademark for the Firebird body shape within the European Union.

According to Guitar.com, the Cancellation Division of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled that it does not consider the Firebird to be "significantly different from the normal style of electric guitars."

This is Gibson's second court defeat in the European Union this year, after its trademark for the Flying V shape was voided by the EUIPO in June. Warwick and Framus owner Hans-Peter Wilfer brought both the Firebird and Flying V cases against Gibson.

Gibson's decision to wait 50 years before filing for the trademark - which the company first did in 2011 - was also said to be a contributing factor in the ruling.

“Guitar body shapes may perhaps function as trademarks for a tiny club of expert and discerning guitarists, but not for the average amateur, who is the relevant public in assessing distinctive character in this case,” the EUIPO said in its decision.

Interestingly, the ruling reportedly doesn't extend to areas like merchandise, where Gibson still owns the trademark to the shape.

In the United States, meanwhile, the results of Gibson's similar lawsuit against Dean Guitars remain pending.

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