Thanks for your response.
I am well aware of all the history you presented, as well as the legal
theory. Nevertheless, our very experienced trademark and patent counsel
believes the patent I cited does cover the way graphite is typically used in
I certainly have no objection to graphite in a neck- the whole reason we
sought an opinion in the first place was because we were considering it. But
the fact that that there is some possible legal claim with regard to its use
forced us to think further outside the box and I hope someday we'll be able
to bring to market the results of this thinking.
With regard to Fender's possible infringing use of graphite, I'll guess that
the patent owners don't feel their claim is strong enough against pocket's
as deep as theirs; the rest of your list is peanuts, with the exception of
Ibanez. In any case, infringement by many still doesn't make it right and
we've always been "by the book types"; it's certainly not a matter of fear.
But the bottom line is, of course, that we have more business than we know
what to do with, so there's not a lot of sense to change much anyway.
I also thank you for your further comments regarding some of our designs and your appreciation for them.