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Gibson serves Mojo Hand FX with cease and desist over use of Mister-O name

Mojo Hand FX Mister-O
(Image credit: Mojo Hand FX)

Gibson has sent Mojo Hand FX a cease and desist letter regarding the branding and marketing of its Mister-O phase shifter pedal, which was first launched in March this year.

The letter, shared on Mojo Hand FX’s Instagram, states that the similarity of the Mister-O branding and mention of the Gibson trademark Maestro – in reference to the pedal’s tonal inspiration – in the marketing of the product “unfairly captalizes on the goodwill and reputation embodied in Gibson’s MAESTRO mark.”

The letter continues: “The public will and likely has already mistakenly believed that Mojo’s use of Gibson’s MAESTRO mark is authorized, sponsored by, or is somehow affiliated with Gibson.

In its conclusion, Gibson’s intellectual property counsel demand “that Mojo cease and immediately desist in using Gibson’s MAESTRO mark and related trade dress and the Mister-O mark on any products, advertisements or in connection with any services.”

In sharing the letter on Instagram, Mojo Hand FX commented: 

“We’d like to apologize to any of our customers that mistakenly somehow felt they were buying a Gibson product when they purchased a Mister-O phase shifter,” stated the pedal builder. 

“We are in NO WAY associated with Gibson USA, and never will be. Not one single trace of the original circuit of the Maestro phaser from 50 years ago was copied, we only used our ears and Dave’s programming skills to create our pedal as an homage to the original phaser made by good people back in the day when things were simpler, and the original Gibson we all knew and loved was still building guitars just down the road from us in Kalamazoo…”

Guitar World has reached out to Gibson for comment.

It is not the first time in recent years that Gibson has acted to protect its intellectual property. In 2020, Gibson’s lawyers contacted Satellite Amps contesting its use of the Coronet trademark, before reviving the Epiphone Coronet guitar some months later. With that in mind, this current legal activity suggests the firm could have future plans for the Maestro name.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.