Gibson alleges Dean is in contempt of court for continuing to advertise its V and Z Series guitars

Gibson Flying V
(Image credit: Future)

Back in August, Gibson secured a legal victory against Dean Guitars which meant Dean could no longer manufacture, advertise, and/or sell guitars that infringe on Gibson’s ES, SG, Flying V and Explorer trademarks, as well as its Hummingbird wordmark.

As a result of the ruling Dean was ordered to cease production and marketing of its V and Z electric guitars, as well as its Luna Athena 501 and Gran Sport models.

And now, Gibson has filed a new suit alleging Dean is in contempt of court, using as evidence screenshots of Dean’s 2021 product catalog (opens in new tab) – which is still available online – that displays a number of Dean’s V and Z models.

“To Gibson’s surprise, it appears that none of the images complained about in the Reply Brief have been removed despite displaying guitars containing counterfeits of Gibson trademarks; in fact, they have included even more images of the Dean V and Dean Z in their catalog and even offer a new Dean [V] 2022 model for sale,” Gibson writes in the new filing.

At the time of writing, pages for V (opens in new tab) and Z (opens in new tab) Series guitars are accessible on the internet, though they no longer have any product listings.

Both Armadillo – Dean’s parent company – and the court itself are yet to respond to Gibson’s newest lawsuit. 


(Image credit: Future)

In a press release published around the time of the August’s ruling in favor of Gibson, the guitar giant wrote: “Gibson is once again very pleased with the outcome after years of simply trying to protect [its] brand and business through well-recognized intellectual property rights, rights that have been Gibson’s for decades.”

It continued: “Gibson’s guitar shapes are iconic and now are firmly protected for the past, present and future. From a broader perspective, this court decision is also a win for Gibson fans, artists and dealers. Not to mention for all of the iconic American brands that have invested in meaningful innovation and continued protection, only to see it diluted with unauthorized and often illegitimate knockoffs.

“Gibson can now focus attention on continuing to leverage its iconic past, and invest in future innovation, with confidence.”

The court order, which meant Dean had to stop producing and promoting its V and Z models, came after the company was found guilty of trademark infringement back in May. Though Gibson was victorious in the case, it was awarded just $4,000 in damages.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).