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Old 02-08-2012, 11:02 PM
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squeegee is online now
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Aptos CA
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Originally Posted by Quasimodem View Post
Why are some guitar companies allowed to farg with Fender, et al styles? Shouldn't there be a copyright in place?
The short answer is objects can't be copyrighted. Works of art (books, plays, songs, yadayada) can be. Designs (e.g. The Nike swoosh(tm)) and even words combinations (e.g. "You deserve a break today!"(tm) ), or even actual words in some context (e.g. "Nike" associated with shoes) can be trademarked , but trademark protection is limited in a bunch of ways. Designs can also be patented, which sounds pretty impressive, but design patents are difficult to defend.

Suffice it to say: Intellectual property law is chock full of gray areas that require lawyers and lawsuits and courts to define, sometimes on an ongoing basis. Protecting the shape of guitar or a headstock or whatever sometimes isn't worth it except if violated blatantly, repeatedly and egregiously. Since there are no trademark or copyright or patent cops, each company must decide where they simply must respond when they think their IP has been violated, and that line is clear as mud.

I'm not an IP attorney, but my father is a retired one, so I've gotten some exposure to this. For more info, contact an IP attorney or violate an IP issue and wait for one to contact you.

ETA: also, Squier is made by Fender. So no issue there.

Last edited by squeegee; 02-08-2012 at 11:05 PM.