Gibson and Heritage agree to end trademark and antitrust legal battle
Gibson and Heritage have agreed to drop all legal claims against each other after having reached an out-of-court agreement. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed at present, however both brands will pay their own legal fees.
READ MORE: Gibson must now face antitrust litigation in Heritage case, US judge rules
The high-profile legal case began when Heritage accused Gibson of threatening to take legal action regarding guitar shapes – seemingly going against the terms of the brand’s 1991 settlement with Gibson, which set out the ways in which Heritage could continue to make certain styles of electric guitars.
Heritage also introduced an antitrust measure to the case in 2021, claiming that Gibson was attempting to monopolise the guitar market through various means, including by cutting ties with retailer Swee Lee, which, like heritage, is part of Vista Musical Instruments.
In response, Gibson asserted that it was abiding by the terms of the 1991 agreement and made various counterclaims against the monopolisation accusations.
Heritage had argued that these counterclaims from Gibson were invalid as thee brand had not sought court permission to lodge them. However, this argument was ultimately dismissed, with the judge effectively saying that if Heritage had broadened out a trademark dispute to an antitrust one, Gibson should also be allowed to broaden the scope of its counterarguments.
In any case, both parties have reached an undisclosed settlement, and agreed to dismiss all claims and counterclaims “with prejudice” – IE, without the intention to pursue the same claim in another suit. Each party will pay its own legal fees.
This is a developing story…
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