Gibson Guitar Resolves Lawsuit Against Elderly Instruments, Inc., of MI
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Nashville, TN - Gibson Guitar Corp., the world's premiere manufacturer of musical instruments, recently resolved its lawsuit against one of its former dealers, Elderly Instruments, Inc., a Michigan corporation. The lawsuit, which was pending in Federal Court in Nashville, Tennessee, involved the selling of banjos that appeared to trade on the popularity of the Gibson brand. Gibson claimed that Elderly had sold and advertised banjos that copy Gibson's trademarks and trade dress. Gibson also claimed that Elderly had breached distribution agreements between the parties. Elderly denied all such claims. Both parties have reached a full resolution of all matters in this litigation. The settlement of the lawsuit provides that Elderly will honor Gibson's trademarks and the trade dress that appears on certain Gibson banjos. Gibson asserts that one such distinctive trade dress consists of the following when used together on the same banjo: (1) the double-cut peghead shape; (2) the word "Mastertone" inlayed in the fingerboard; and (3) one of two fingerboard inlay patterns known as the Flying Eagle and the Hearts and Flowers. The other terms of the settlement are confidential. Gibson is pleased that its trademarks and trade dress rights continue to be vindicated, and it welcomes this recognition of those rights. Gibson Guitar is passionately committed to protecting its family of brands and to ensuring that loyal customers who purchase instruments that bear the Gibson name, trademarks, or trade dress are buying genuine Gibson instruments built with the same quality and innovation for which the company is famous. For more information on Gibson Guitar go to

About Gibson Brands:

Gibson Brands, the fastest-growing company in the music and sound industries, was founded in 1894 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson Brands is a global leader in musical instruments, consumer electronics, and professional audio, and is dedicated to bringing the finest experiences to consumers by offering exceptional products with world-recognized brands.

Gibson Brands has a portfolio of over 100 well-recognized brand names starting with the #1 guitar brand, Gibson. Other instrument brands include Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton, Chickering and Wurlitzer. In professional audio, KRK Systems, TASCAM, Cerwin-Vega, Stanton, and Cakewalk also continue Gibson’s tradition of quality in their respective markets. Consumer electronics brands include Onkyo, Integra, TEAC, and Esoteric.

Gibson Brands recently expanded its reach into consumer markets with the acquisition of Philips' Home Entertainment based in Hong Kong—a company that invented the cassette tape, the CD format, the DVD format and the MP3 format. Under the Philips and Fidelio brand names, Gibson Brands continue to represent the ideal combination of innovation, tradition and a dedication to improving design while maintaining the highest level of craftsmanship.

A global company, Gibson Brands has manufacturing, marketing and research and development centers throughout the world.

All Gibson Brands are dedicated to innovation, prestige and improving the quality of life and music for its customers. Its goal is to provide the most exceptional customer audio products and experiences in the world.


Maureen O’Connor/Eileen Thompson-Ray/Joe Schneider
Rogers & Cowan