Gibson have lost their Firebird body shape trademark case in the EU

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

Gibson have lost their Firebird body shape trademark case in the EU

As reported by, the European Union’s Intellectual Property watchdog decided against the age-old guitar manufacturer’s lawsuit, claiming that “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.” 


This decision essentially appeals to the average punter, implying that even though a seasoned musician or guitar fan might be able to pinpoint a guitar by its shape, everybody else probably wouldn’t be able to. The EUIPO also delivered a fatal blow to Gibson in their decision, stating that it “does not consider this to be significantly different from the normal style of electric guitars”.



Obviously, another factor in the ruling came down to the fact that the Firebird has existed for a while, and that Gibson’s decision to file for trademark decades after the fact was a bit bold. Interestingly enough, the application to cancel these trademarks in court actually came from Hans-Peter Wilfer – the founder and owner of Warwick and Framus.


Revisit the details behind Gibson’s Flying V lawsuit loss here