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Thread: A 2012 color trademark court desicion. Pay attention.

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    Exclamation A 2012 color trademark court desicion. Pay attention.

    This is of major importance right now. You all will want to pay attention to this. More details to come soon-ish.



    https://www.foley.com/second-circuit...ks-09-05-2012/

    Second Circuit Reverses Louboutin on Protection of Fashion Color Trademarks

    In a major opinion issued on September 5, 2012, the Second Circuit held that Christian Louboutin’s red sole trademark for shoes is valid, but only when the red color contrasts with the color of the shoe upper. It rejected the District Court's holding that color per se could never be a valid trademark for fashion-related goods.

    However, the court affirmed the refusal of a preliminary injunction against the monochromatic red shoes of defendant Yves St. Laurent (YSL) since these shoes lay outside the scope of protection for Louboutin's trademark. While Louboutin failed to obtain the relief it sought, the decision creates the basis for future enforcement against competitors who imitate the distinctive Louboutin contrasting red sole. More broadly, it also is a victory for trademark owners who seek to incorporate a nonfunctional color into their overall branding scheme.

    The District Court’s opinion in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves St. Laurent America Holding, Inc., 778 F. Supp. 2d 445 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) had sparked wide criticism due to its sweeping holding on the protectability of color trademarks. Although the District Court acknowledged that the Louboutin red sole trademark was widely recognized and had acquired secondary meaning, it held the mark invalid, and ordered cancellation of Louboutin’s Federal registration, on the basis of aesthetic functionality. “There is something unique about the fashion world,” said the District Court, “that militates against extending trademark protection to a single color.” Louboutin, 778 F. Supp. 2d at 451.

    Reversing on this point, the Second Circuit held that such a sweeping per se rule was contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision in Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co., 514 U.S. 159 (1995), which mandates an “individualized, fact-based inquiry into the nature of the trademark.” In this case, said the Court, “Louboutin’s marketing efforts have created a “brand with worldwide recognition,” and “[b]y placing the color red in a context that seems unusual, and deliberately tying that color to his product, Louboutin has created an identifying mark firmly associated with his brand” (internal quotes and citations omitted).

    The appellate court held that the doctrine of aesthetic functionality is a valid defense in the Second Circuit in cases “where protection of the mark significantly undermines competitors’ ability to compete in the relevant market” (emphasis in original). A mark is aesthetically functional if granting exclusive protection to the feature “would put competitors at a significant non-reputation-related disadvantage,” citing TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23, 32-33 (2001).

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    John Deere Colors Might Be Aesthetically Functional
    From BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal - Daily Edition (also available on Bloomberg Law)



    By Anandashankar Mazumdar

    Oct. 19 — A maker of lawn sprayers won the right to argue that John Deere's green-and-yellow color combination is functional because consumers like their equipment to be in matching colors, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ruled Oct. 14.

    The federal district court refused to grant a motion to dismiss a counterclaim of aesthetic functionality by a Deere competitor who was sued for trademark infringement for selling green-and-yellow colored equipment.

    Whether the color combination is functional is a question of fact that can be determined only after a full evidentiary proceeding, the court said, and not at the motion-to-dismiss stage.

    Deere Holds Federal Registrations on Colors

    Deere & Co. of Moline, Ill., the producer of heavy machinery founded in 1837, is best-known for agricultural equipment, such as tractors, sold under the “John Deere” brand name.

    Deere claims interest not only in the name “John Deere” and its leaping-deer logo, but also in the green-and-yellow color combination, in which most of its products are painted.

    Deere holds three federal trademark registrations for the combination for “wheeled agricultural, lawn and garden, and material handling machines,” tractors, and nutrient applicators.

    Fimco Inc. of Dakota Dunes, S.D., sells agricultural equipment under the names “Fimco” and “Schaben Industries.” According to the court, Fimco is “the largest manufacturer of lawn and garden sprayers in the United States.”

    Fimco uses various color schemes, including green and yellow, for its sprayers and other agricultural equipment.

    Deere sued, alleging:

    • trademark infringement under the Lanham Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §1114,

    • false designation of origin and unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a),

    • trademark dilution under 15 U.S.C. §1125(c), and

    •  trademark infringement under Kentucky state common law.



    Aesthetic Functionality Doctrine Asserted

    Fimco countered that Deere could not assert an exclusive right over the green-and-yellow combination, based on the doctrine of aesthetic functionality.

    Under that theory, Fimco said that giving Deere the sole right to use green and yellow on such goods puts competitors “at a significant disadvantage because purchasers of agricultural products prefer to have equipment in colors similar to their tractors.”
    Counterclaim Adequately Pleaded at this Stage

    Deere moved to dismiss the aesthetic functionality counterclaim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim for which the law offers a remedy.

    However, the court noted that in 1982, a federal district court determined that “ ‘John Deere green' was aesthetically functional precisely because ‘farmers prefer to match their loaders to their tractor.' ” Deere & Co. v. Farmhand, Inc., 560 F. Supp. 85 (S.D. Iowa 1982); aff'd 721 F.2d 253 (8th Cir. 1983).

    Even though that case was about green alone— not the green-and-yellow combination—the court ruled that Fimco had sufficiently pleaded its aesthetic functionality defense to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. According to the court, the issue of whether the color combination is functional in the same way that green alone was determined to be functional in 1982 is a question of fact that could not be determined at this stage.

    The court's ruling was issued by Judge Thomas B. Russell.

    Deere was represented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Louisville, Ky. Fimco was represented by Koley Jessen P.C., Omaha, Neb.

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    When the Color Black Functions, But Not as a Trademark

    By Steve Baird on August 31st, 2010 Posted in Advertising, Branding, Law Suits, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Trademarks, TTAB

    Now that kids are back to school and summer is coming to a close, this billboard advertisement has disappeared from I-94 just outside of downtown Minneapolis. Before it vanished from the roadside, however, I thought to capture it to tell a little trademark tale here, one from years past, but one that remains relevant, important, and applicable to trademark claims involving the color black.

    As we have discussed before, a single color can function as a trademark and be the basis of exclusive ownership, so long as it is not functional and has acquired distinctiveness for the goods in question. As it turns out, however, and as the billboard reminds me, due to some unique attributes of the color black, it is a tricky one to own as a trademark.

    The tale begins back in 1988, after accumulating 25 years of use and allegedly "substantially exclusive" use in commerce, Mercury-Brunswick commenced efforts to register, own and exclude others from using the color black on the surface of internal combustion engines for boats.

    As can tend to be the case when claiming exclusive rights in single colors or other non-traditional trademark rights, others within the industry who are paying close attention to what goes on at the Trademark Office come to life and consider getting in the way of these efforts.

    British Seagull Ltd. did just that and filed an opposition lasting six years, ending with and resulting in the final rejection of Mercury-Brunswick’s claimed trademark rights in black, based on the functionality doctrine. You might be wondering, how on earth is the color black functional when applied to the entire surface of internal combustion engines for boats?

    The longer answer can be found in two decisions: The decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in British Seagull Ltd. v. Brunswick Corp., 28 USPQ2d 1197 (TTAB 1993), and the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), affirming the TTAB’s registration refusal, in Brunswick Corporation v. British Seagull Limited, 35 F.3d 1527 (1994).

    The shorter answer is "competitive need" as found in this excerpt from the TTAB’s decision:

    [A]lthough the color black is not functional in the sense that it makes these engines work better, or that it makes them easier or less expensive to manufacture, black is more desirable from the perspective of prospective purchasers because it is color compatible with a wider variety of boat colors and because objects colored black appear smaller than they do when they are painted other lighter or brighter colors. The evidence shows that people who buy outboard motors for boats like the colors of the motors to be harmonious with the colors of their vessels, and that they also find it desirable under some circumstances to reduce the perception of the size of the motors in proportion to the boats.

    And the CAFC’s affirmance, here:

    Turning to the present case, the Board determined that "black, when applied to [Mercury’s] outboard marine engines, is de jure functional because of competitive need." British Seagull, 28 USPQ2d at 1199. The color black, as the Board noted, does not make the engines function better as engines. The paint on the external surface of an engine does not affect its mechanical purpose. Rather, the color black exhibits both color compatibility with a wide variety of boat colors and ability to make objects appear smaller. With these advantages for potential customers, the Board found a competitive need for engine manufacturers to use black on outboard engines. Based on this competitive need, the Board determined that the color was de jure functional. This court discerns no error in the Board’s legal reasoning and no clear error in its factual findings

    So, it’s important to keep in mind this notion of competitive need when a business desires to own exclusive trademark rights in a color, and it is equally important to keep in mind as a defense when such rights are being asserted against your client’s use of a color.

    And, when it comes to asserting or refuting a claim of exclusive trademark rights in the color black, it is well worth exploring competitive need by asking whether black’s unique attributes of color compatibility and/or visual perception have any application to your facts, since those facts already have been found to support a successful functionality defense.

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    This is interesting, I can't see the single color black as being a trademark but the green and yellow is definitely John Deere. How closely do colors have to match to be infringement? Black white and brown are considered neutral. As it pertains to DiMarzio Pickups, I personally don't associate the cream color with pickups; also cream is a standard generic color, used when the color is intended to not stand out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    This is interesting, I can't see the single color black as being a trademark but the green and yellow is definitely John Deere. How closely do colors have to match to be infringement? Black white and brown are considered neutral. As it pertains to DiMarzio Pickups, I personally don't associate the cream color with pickups; also cream is a standard generic color, used when the color is intended to not stand out.
    I don't recall how closely the colors must match, but I remember reading that it needs to be within a certain range of pantone colors... the problem is, Dimarzio's trademark is extremely vague and does not give a pantone color.

    Fimco has won the right to argue that both the Deere Green and Yellow are functional under aesthetic functionality doctrine.

    There's a reason I'm bringing this back into the light...

    One of us is being sued.... I'm not at liberty to say who yet.

    This CAN be won. And WILL be won, if enough people get involved. There are some major players getting involved.
    When/if the lawsuit is won, the trademark will disappear. It will vanish into the ether.

    In 2005, Dimarzio attempted another color trademark. It was REFUSED because guitars have chromed hardware, and some guitar have mirrored pickguard.

    Here's some other reading..
    http://harvardjsel.com/wp-content/up...LS105_crop.pdf

    In its analysis of functionality in Qualitex, the Court refined the test articulated in Inwood and provided a more detailed explanation of how it might apply to future cases. The Court expanded upon
    Inwood, finding a color functional “ ‘if it is essential to the use or purpose of the article or if it affects the cost or quality of the article,’ that is, if exclusive use of the feature would put competitors at a significant non-reputation-related disadvan-tage.”

    The Court highlighted the importance of promoting competition by not “allowing a producer to control a useful product feature.” This emphasis on competition elucidated why the doctrine of functionality exists: while trademark law should protect aspects of a product that serve to identify its source, it should not apply in such a way that allows one company to unjustly gain a monopoly, or even just a significant advantage, on the market for a product.

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    I guess it depends on the amount of each color, I wouldn't think a yellow tractor with green writing is a Deere. Most of this jibes with my (casual) understanding of trademark law. The rejection of the chrome trademark would seem to suggest that the cream trademark is BS. When chrome and creme pickups have been available (such as PAF's and P-90's, it seems silly to consider that a cream open coil humbucker could be considered unique, there were already cream pickup mounting rings and binding as well. I'm interested in how this plays out.

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    Suppose a fabric maker wanted to patent a certain color of fabric, so that whenever you see this fabric incorporated into a piece of clothing, you'll know it by the color. It would be argued that this is invalid due to "aesthetical functionality". Every conceivable color of fabric is functional. On the other hand, a whole article of clothing can have a trademarked color scheme, like a woman's shoe with red soles was trademarked. I think pickups should be thought of as the fabric, not the whole shoe.

    Pickup makers do their best to make pickups out to be standalone products, but it would be easy to demonstrate that they are in fact a component of the guitar, and that their performance is dependent upon the rest of the guitar. Not only do you need a guitar to make a pickup useful at all, but the characteristics of the pickup change depending upon existing aspect of the guitar, namely the pot values and the cable length, or at least any parasitic capacitance between the pickup itself and the output jack. A pickup should be thought of as "fabric", not as "shoes".

    Not only is the fashion analogy applicable to the electric aspect of pickup, but also literally applicable. Guitars are fashion accessories. There are numerous examples of musicians coordinating their guitar with their clothing. Suppose a musician is wearing a cream outfit, has a cream colored guitar, and wants cream colored pickups to complete the look, then the cream pickups become aesthetically functional at that point.

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    Last edited by John Kolbeck; 06-21-2016 at 05:17 AM.

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    Inquiring minds want to know: Before DiMarzio, did Gibson or anyone else intentionally make beige or "cream" colored bobbins or covers? My impression is that Gibson made white bobbins that discolored with age to a range of hues, depending on exposure to light, nicotine, etc. If that is the case, it seems to me that new cream colored plastic ain't the same thing as old white plastic- and that at the time DiMarzio introduced cream colored pickups in the '70s, they were a distinctive, valid trademark.

    Argument for aesthetic functionality:
    "Giving DiMarzio the sole right to use cream on pickup bobbins puts competitors at a significant disadvantage because purchasers of electric guitars prefer to have pickups in colors similar to their jack plates."
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Running, ducking, and covering,
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    Last edited by rjb; 06-21-2016 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Flipped paragraph order

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kolbeck View Post
    Suppose a fabric maker wanted to patent .
    Please don't confuse patents with trademarks.
    In fact, the fabric color thing has been the subjectof a trademark before...
    In 1991, Qualitex, makers of dry-cleaning pads, registered a mark with green and gold colors. Competitor Jacobson began copying. Qualitex sued and won because the color was not essential or made no difference in the product. It gave no utilitarian or aesthetic advantage.


    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Inquiring minds want to know: Before DiMarzio, did Gibson or anyone else intentionally make beige or "cream" colored bobbins or covers? My impression is that Gibson made white bobbins that discolored with age to a range of hues, depending on exposure to light, nicotine, etc. If that is the case, it seems to me that new cream colored plastic ain't the same thing as old white plastic- and that at the time DiMarzio introduced cream colored pickups in the '70s, they were a distinctive, valid trademark.

    Argument for aesthetic functionality:
    "Giving DiMarzio the sole right to use cream on pickup bobbins puts competitors at a significant disadvantage because purchasers of electric guitars prefer to have pickups in colors similar to their jack plates."
    Click image for larger version. 

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    jack plates...binding...cream pickguards, cream mounting rings...I have four guitars here with cream everything.
    I'm not so sure they were white to begin with. Let's start looking up some very old pictures of '59 LP's with covers removed. I recall at article with Seth Lover explaining that when the injector ran out of black dye, cream was used because it was the natural color.
    As far as product quality difference go, have anyone ever noticed a difference between cream and black bobbins? Cause there is one, according to the many winders I know. Something to do with the hardness/softness of the material. Not only that, but black shows scuff marks much easier than cream.





    Running, ducking, and covering,
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kolbeck View Post
    Suppose a fabric maker wanted to patent .
    Please don't confuse patents with trademarks.
    In fact, the fabric color thing has been the subjectof a trademark before...
    In 1991, Qualitex, makers of dry-cleaning pads, registered a mark with green and gold colors. Competitor Jacobson began copying. Qualitex sued and won because the color was not essential or made no difference in the product. It gave no utilitarian or aesthetic advantage.


    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Inquiring minds want to know: Before DiMarzio, did Gibson or anyone else intentionally make beige or "cream" colored bobbins or covers? My impression is that Gibson made white bobbins that discolored with age to a range of hues, depending on exposure to light, nicotine, etc. If that is the case, it seems to me that new cream colored plastic ain't the same thing as old white plastic- and that at the time DiMarzio introduced cream colored pickups in the '70s, they were a distinctive, valid trademark.

    Argument for aesthetic functionality:
    "Giving DiMarzio the sole right to use cream on pickup bobbins puts competitors at a significant disadvantage because purchasers of electric guitars prefer to have pickups in colors similar to their jack plates."
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	s7wysfyxns88u7xbtbrv.jpg 
Views:	141 
Size:	213.8 KB 
ID:	39579


    Running, ducking, and covering,


    -rb
    Bill Lawrence, Mighty-Mite.

    jack plates...binding...cream pickguards, cream mounting rings...I have four guitars here with cream everything. The trademark removed 1/3rd of commonly accepted colors. Or 1/4, if you count Fender "white." You bet that puts us at a significant disadvantage.

    I'm not so sure they were white to begin with. Let's start looking up some very old pictures of '59 LP's with covers removed. I recall at article with Seth Lover explaining that when the injector ran out of black dye, cream was used because it was the natural color.
    As far as product quality difference go, have anyone ever noticed a difference between cream and black bobbins? Cause there is one, according to the many winders I know. Something to do with the hardness/softness of the material. Not only that, but black shows scuff marks much easier than cream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    Please don't confuse patents with trademarks.
    In fact, the fabric color thing has been the subjectof a trademark before...
    In 1991, Qualitex, makers of dry-cleaning pads, registered a mark with green and gold colors. Competitor Jacobson began copying. Qualitex sued and won because the color was not essential or made no difference in the product. It gave no utilitarian or aesthetic advantage.
    I understand the difference, I just pulled the wrong word from my brain.

    It seems to me that a dry-cleaning pad is a standalone product, and therefore is unlike fabric or guitar pickups, both of which are components of something else, something which happens to serve an aesthetic function.

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    yes wolfe

    there is a difference between different plastics of various colours, the pigments affect the hardness and stiffness of the material;. I have working in the packaging industry, specifically in packaging machinery, which fill, seal containers and apply lids to containers automatically.

    in one frustrating project the customer made the same product but used different colour lids and labels in specific runs, as they were specifically made as "home brands" for various supermarket chains. The bulk of the lids were semi transparent, however i later found out there was also green and yellow. in setting up the machine and doing the commissioning and pilots we used the transparent lids.... all went well and they started production....a week later I had a call.... the machine was not working as the lids were not going on the containers properly. I noticed immediately, that they were using green lids. and comparing them in my hand against the clear lids they were noticeably harder and less flexible. i adjusted the machine for the green lids and they continued on.. however asked to book a time asap, where we could run the pilot production again using all colours they intended to use... and sure enough, the yellow ones were even harder than the green. luckily the adjustments for the yellow (hardest) plastic also worked for the softest. the plastics manufacturer told me that there was no difference material properties between the colours.... but is only interest is to make a nicely injection molded product. A while later a colleague in Europe was having trouble with a lidding machine he was commissioning, and had heard i had some issue which was similar.... it turned out the customer's marketing department decided to change the containers colour to blue from the original colour white.

    so in short, yes, different colours will have different properties in terms of hardness and stiffness, depending on the colour/amount of picgments used.

    what if we made "photochromatic" coloured bobbins made, which were designed to fade from white... to cream to beige with exposure to UV light. i wonder if this would be a way of getting around the issue and could be patented independently. so you can sell double whites which in a short time become cream.

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    Another solution would be to make the tops of the coils modular; the coil would be wound around a thin plastic retainer, and the colored plastic you see would be secured over the top of that. Different colored covers would either be included or sold separately. From there, the customer could fit any combination of colors they wanted.

    There are several ways it could be done, it seems that it's a bigger issue to us than it is to pickup manufacturers. Maybe Seymour Duncan didn't renew the double cream license with DiMarzio in the 80's because demand for double cream was not all that high anyway.

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    JUST PLAYING DEVIL'S ADVOCATE


    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    Bill Lawrence, Mighty-Mite.
    What about them? Did they make cream pickups before DiMarzio?
    (I really don't know- totally ignorant about this topic.)

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    jack plates...binding...cream pickguards, cream mounting rings...I have four guitars here with cream everything.
    Which were produced before DiMarzio filed the cream trademark?
    Or which were produced by DiMarzio to match their pickups?

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    The trademark removed 1/3rd of commonly accepted colors. Or 1/4, if you count Fender "white." You bet that puts us at a significant disadvantage.
    "Accepted" colors? What does that mean?
    If you manufacture your own parts, you can make them gold or mint green or tortoise shell or confetti sparkle or....
    But I guess that illustrates the difference between a pickup "builder" and a pickup "winder".

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    I'm not so sure they were white to begin with. Let's start looking up some very old pictures of '59 LP's with covers removed. I recall at article with Seth Lover explaining that when the injector ran out of black dye, cream was used because it was the natural color.
    So, has DM ever gone after someone for using unpigmented plastic?

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    As far as product quality difference go, have anyone ever noticed a difference between cream and black bobbins? Cause there is one, according to the many winders I know. Something to do with the hardness/softness of the material. Not only that, but black shows scuff marks much easier than cream.
    Those sound like real functionality differences (or whatever the legal term is).

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    Last edited by rjb; 06-21-2016 at 06:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kolbeck View Post
    Another solution would be to make the tops of the coils modular; the coil would be wound around a thin plastic retainer, and the colored plastic you see would be secured over the top of that.
    That product already exists. IIRC, they're called bobbin toppers.

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    It looks like the only resolution is for someone with a sizable pickup sales, needs to make them in cream of their own color pigmentation!
    Then when, or if they get a cease and desist order, be prepared to take DeMarzz to court.
    Get prepared, and have all you ducks in a row, and have a good lawyer on retainer.
    Anything else, is just gossip, and idle speculation!
    T

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    Terry

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr fab View Post
    so you can sell double whites which in a short time become cream.
    It seems to me that the trademark laws are being perverted.

    If this statement is true:
    A trademark is an identifier of quality to indicate to consumers the origin of the product, thus enabling them to rely on the marks in their purchase decisions.
    Then you should be able to make pickups any color you want- as long as you clearly identify them with your logo.

    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 06-21-2016 at 07:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    That product already exists. IIRC, they're called bobbin toppers.
    Is it safe to assume that you still see the unwanted original color around the sides of the "topper"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kolbeck View Post
    Is it safe to assume that you still see the unwanted original color around the sides of the "topper"?
    Don't know nor care. Here, check them out for yourself:
    Bobbin Toppers

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Don't know nor care. Here, check them out for yourself:
    Bobbin Toppers
    Not surprisingly, they camera angles they choose to use don't show the sides of the bobbins in clear detail. If they look cheesy in person, then they are not suitable stand ins for a solid colored bobbin top. I would also imagine that as a superficial layer, they won't show the same wear pattern as an actual plastic bobbin.

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    "Then when, or if they get a cease and desist order, be prepared to take DeMarzz to court.
    Get prepared, and have all you ducks in a row, and have a good lawyer on retainer.
    Anything else, is just gossip, and idle speculation!"
    Yeah takes deep pockets and thousands of hours preparing formal paperwork that has to be submitted in a particular format that changes depending on what location the federal court is in. There is no absolute standard so if you prepare it wrong it will all get rejected. Meanwhile you have deadlines you have to meet for each bit of the filing- its very difficult even with a couple of free helpers working alongside your official attourney. Having gone through this finalized about 2 years ago but starting in 2004 I had formerly the wrong idea how the federal court system really works. They dont want court cases- they want you to go through endless mediation and they want you to make a settlement, at no time does a judge actually go through and look at the case unless it eventually goes to trial which is not the usual. There is an instance where the judge might make a ruling- I dont recall what thats called but it doesnt happen often and everything has to be formatted and filed just so. The amount of money and time you spend would likely be not worth what you would get, maybe it might be worth it for someone like Duncan but I have doubts about that, they would likely be better off making a settlement and getting an exclusive license which may not cost them anything but a dollar plus all the attourney fees and time spent which could go into the millions. Even Dimarzio probably doesnt want to lay out that much cash over that so settlementmaybe likely whatever that might be- all speculation on my part. IMO its an outdated 80's aesthetic, sure people ask for it occasionally but its small time- well maybe if you have alot of hair metal fans, could be a different story May no one here have to go through that- crossing fingers. My experience- doesnt matter if you are in the right or not; its all about money and how much you want to spend on it regardless of the facts and even then if it goes to jury trial there is no telling how they may vote even if the evidence seems irrefutable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    JUST PLAYING DEVIL'S ADVOCATE


    What about them? Did they make cream pickups before DiMarzio?
    (I really don't know- totally ignorant about this topic.)
    Old magazine ads are in the process of being dug up....


    Which were produced before DiMarzio filed the cream trademark?
    Or which were produced by DiMarzio to match their pickups?
    Who or when the cream hardware was produce by makes no difference. I'd figure the vast majority of guitars to include cream....if I had to take a guess. Certainly the vast majority of LP's and PRS guitars.

    "Accepted" colors? What does that mean?
    If you manufacture your own parts, you can make them gold or mint green or tortoise shell or confetti sparkle or....
    But I guess that illustrates the difference between a pickup "builder" and a pickup "winder".
    By "accepted" I mean this. Guitarists are very aesthetically-minded people. Guitars typically come with white, cream, or black binding. Guitars with green, red, blue, or any other funky colors are not all that common.... yes, Ibanez, and some others.. but black, cream, and white are the most typical. The pickup buyers universally request (discounting covered humbuckers) either black, zebra, or cream. I don't make a white bobbin because there are no high quality whites to be had (soon to change, for me - and thanks for the disparaging remark, by the way...with the availability of perfectly good parts, I never had the need to waste tons of money to replicate those parts..until recently) I have never been asked for any other color other than black, cream, or zebra, or white. Therefore, four "commonly accepted" colors. You don't put mint green on a gold-top or sunburst LP... black, zebra, or cream.



    So, has DM ever gone after someone for using unpigmented plastic?
    Don't know.


    Those sound like real functionality differences (or whatever the legal term is).
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kolbeck View Post
    Another solution would be to make the tops of the coils modular; the coil would be wound around a thin plastic retainer, and the colored plastic you see would be secured over the top of that. Different colored covers would either be included or sold separately. From there, the customer could fit any combination of colors they wanted.

    There are several ways it could be done, it seems that it's a bigger issue to us than it is to pickup manufacturers. Maybe Seymour Duncan didn't renew the double cream license with DiMarzio in the 80's because demand for double cream was not all that high anyway.
    Forcing a modular design would greatly increase the cost and ease of manufacture. If anyone has actually bothered to read the stuff I've posted here, that goes squarely against trademark law. For people who say "just put a cover on it..." same damn thing, it affects the cost of manufacture.

    Let's recap And please read this time... don't let your eyes gloss over, or go all ADD. This sh!t is important for you people to know. Half of the entire industry doesn't even know the difference between patents and trademarks are for. "What do you mean, Dimarzio has a patent on cream?" ugh... It may mean the difference between you becoming Dimarzio's next cannon fodder or not. Again, they are suing someone in the small pickup community...



    1202.02(a)(ii) Purpose of Functionality Doctrine


    The functionality doctrine, which prohibits registration of functional product features, is intended to encourage legitimate competition by maintaining a proper balance between trademark law and patent law. As the Supreme Court explained, in Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods Co., 514 U.S. 159, 164-165, 34 USPQ2d 1161, 1163 (1995):

    The functionality doctrine prevents trademark law, which seeks to promote competition by protecting a firm’s reputation, from instead inhibiting legitimate competition by allowing a producer to control a useful product feature. It is the province of patent law, not trademark law, to encourage invention by granting inventors a monopoly over new product designs or functions for a limited time, 35 U.S.C. Sections 154, 173, after which competitors are free to use the innovation. If a product’s functional features could be used as trademarks, however, a monopoly over such features could be obtained without regard to whether they qualify as patents and could be extended forever (because trademarks may be renewed in perpetuity).

    In other words, the functionality doctrine ensures that protection for utilitarian product features be properly sought through a limited-duration utility patent, and not through the potentially unlimited protection of a trademark registration. Upon expiration of a utility patent, the invention covered by the patent enters the public domain, and the functional features disclosed in the patent may then be copied by others – thus encouraging advances in product design and manufacture. In TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Mktg. Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23, 34-35, 58 USPQ2d 1001, 1007 (2001), the Supreme Court reiterated this rationale, also noting that the functionality doctrine is not affected by evidence of acquired distinctiveness.

    Thus, even when the evidence establishes that consumers have come to associate a functional product feature with a single source, trademark protection will not be granted in light of the public policy reasons stated. Id.

    1202.02(a)(v)(D) Ease or Economy of Manufacture in Functionality Determinations

    A product feature is functional if it is essential to the use or purpose of the product or if it affects the cost or quality of the product. Inwood Laboratories, Inc. v. Ives Laboratories, Inc., 456 U.S. 844, 850 n.10, 214 USPQ 1, 4 n.10 (1982) (emphasis added). Therefore, a showing that a product design or product packaging results from a comparatively simple or inexpensive method of manufacture will support a finding that the claimed trade dress is functional.

    In many cases, there is little or no evidence pertaining to this factor. However, the examining attorney should still ask the applicant for information, under 37 C.F.R. §2.61(b), as to whether the subject design makes the product simpler or less costly to manufacture, since evidence on this issue weighs strongly in favor of a finding of functionality. See, e.g., TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Mktg. Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23, 32, 58 USPQ2d 1001, 1006 (2001); In re Virshup, 42 USPQ2d 1403, 1407 (TTAB 1997). Statements pertaining to the cost or ease of manufacture may sometimes also be found in informational or advertising materials. See M-5 Steel Mfg., Inc. v. O’Hagin’s Inc., 61 USPQ2d 1086, 1097 (TTAB 2001) (statements in promotional material that applicant’s design results in reduced installation costs found to be evidence of the functionality of applicant’s configurations of metal ventilating ducts and vents for tile or concrete roofs).

    While evidence showing that a product feature results from a comparatively simple or inexpensive method of manufacture supports a finding that the design is functional, the opposite is not necessarily the case. That is, assertions by the applicant that its design is more expensive or more difficult to make, or that the design does not affect the cost, will not establish that the configuration is not functional. In re Dietrich, 91 USPQ2d 1622, 1637 (TTAB 2009) ("Even at a higher manufacturing cost, applicant would have a competitive advantage for what is essentially, as claimed in the patents, a superior quality wheel."); In re N.V. Organon, 79 USPQ2d 1639, 1646 (TTAB 2006). Designs that work better or serve a more useful purpose may, indeed, be more expensive and difficult to produce.

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    Last edited by WolfeMacleod; 06-21-2016 at 11:47 PM.

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    1202.02(a)(vi) Aesthetic Functionality

    "Aesthetic functionality" refers to situations where the feature may not provide a truly utilitarian advantage in terms of product performance, but provides other competitive advantages. For example, in Brunswick Corp. v. British Seagull Ltd., 35 F.3d 1527, 1531, 1533, 32 USPQ2d 1120, 1122, 1124 (Fed. Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1050 (1995), the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s determination that the color black for outboard motors was functional because, while it had no utilitarian effect on the mechanical working of the engines, it nevertheless provided other identifiable competitive advantages, i.e., ease of coordination with a variety of boat colors and reduction in the apparent size of the engines.

    The concept of "aesthetic functionality" (as opposed to "utilitarian functionality") has for many years been the subject of much confusion. While the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (the predecessor to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) appeared to reject the doctrine of aesthetic functionality in In re DC Comics, Inc., 689 F.2d 1042, 1047-1050, 215 USPQ 394, 399-401 (C.C.P.A. 1982), the Supreme Court later referred to aesthetic functionality as a valid legal concept in TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Mktg. Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23, 33, 58 USPQ2d 1001, 1006 (2001). The confusion regarding aesthetic functionality stems in part from widespread misuse of the term "aesthetic functionality" in cases involving ornamentation issues, with some courts having mistakenly expanded the category of "functional" marks to include matter that is solely ornamental, essentially on the theory that such matter serves an "aesthetic function" or "ornamentation function." It is this incorrect use of the term "aesthetic functionality" in connection with ornamentation cases that was rejected by the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. See In re DC Comics, Inc., 689 F.2d 1042, 1047-1050, 215 USPQ 394, 397, 399-401 (C.C.P.A. 1982) (majority opinion and Rich, J., concurring) (holding, in a case involving features of toy dolls, that the Board had improperly "intermingled the concepts of utilitarian functionality and what has been termed ‘aesthetic functionality;’" and rejecting the concept of aesthetic functionality where it is used as a substitute for "the more traditional source identification principles of trademark law," such as the ornamentation and functionality doctrines).

    Where the issue presented is whether the proposed mark is ornamental in nature, it is improper to refer to "aesthetic functionality," because the doctrine of "functionality" is inapplicable to such cases. The proper refusal is that the matter is ornamental and, thus, does not function as a mark under §§1, 2, and 45 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1052, and 1127. See TMEP §§1202.03-1202.03(g) regarding ornamentation.

    The Supreme Court’s use of the term "aesthetic functionality" in the TrafFix case appears limited to cases where the issue is one of actual functionality, but where the nature of the proposed mark makes it difficult to evaluate the functionality issue from a purely utilitarian standpoint. This is the case with color marks and product features that enhance the attractiveness of the product. The color or feature does not normally give the product a truly utilitarian advantage (in terms of making the product actually perform better), but may still be found to be functional because it provides other real and significant competitive advantages and, thus, should remain in the public domain. See Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co., 514 U.S. 159, 165, 34 USPQ2d 1161, 1163-1164 (1995) (stating that a product color might be considered functional if its exclusive use "would put competitors at a significant non-reputation-related disadvantage," even where the color was not functional in the utilitarian sense).

    In M-5 Steel Mfg., Inc. v. O’Hagin’s Inc., 61 USPQ2d 1086, 1096 (TTAB 2001), the Board considered the proper use of the aesthetic functionality doctrine in connection with product designs for metal ventilating ducts and vents for tile or concrete roofs:

    This case seems to involve elements of both utilitarian and aesthetic functionality. Here, for example, there is evidence of utility in applicant’s patent application, as well as statements touting the superiority of applicant’s design in applicant’s promotional literature, and statements that applicant’s design results in reduced costs of installation. On the other hand, there is no question that applicant’s roof designs which match the appearance of surrounding roof tiles are more pleasing in appearance because the venting tiles in each case are unobtrusive.

    Citing extensively from the TrafFix, Qualitex, and Brunswick cases, the Board concluded that the product designs were functional for a combination of utilitarian and aesthetic reasons. Id. at 1097.

    Note that this type of functionality determination – while employed in connection with a normally "aesthetic" feature such as color – is a proper use of the functionality doctrine, necessitating a §2(e)(5) refusal where the evidence establishes that a color or other matter at issue provides identifiable competitive advantages and, thus, should remain in the public domain. In In re Florists’ Transworld Delivery Inc., __ USPQ2d ____, Serial No. 77590475 (TTAB March 28, 2013), for example, the record included evidence reflecting that, in the floral industry, color has significance and communicates particular messages (e.g., elegance, bereavement, Halloween), which extend to floral packaging. The Board found, therefore, that the examining attorney had demonstrated a competitive need for others in the industry to use black in connection with floral arrangements and packaging therefor and concluded that the proposed mark was functional under §2(e)(5). This is the opposite of an ornamentation refusal, where the matter at issue serves no identifiable purpose other than that of pure decoration.

    Generally speaking, examining attorneys should exercise caution in the use of the term "aesthetic functionality," in light of the confusion that historically has surrounded this issue. In most situations, reference to aesthetic functionality will be unnecessary, since a determination that the matter sought to be registered is purely ornamental in nature will result in an ornamentation refusal under §§1, 2, and 45 of the Trademark Act, and a determination that the matter sought to be registered is functional will result in a functionality refusal under §2(e)(5). Use of the term "aesthetic functionality" may be appropriate in limited circumstances where the proposed mark presents issues similar to those involved in the Florists’ Transworld Delivery, M-5 Steel, and Brunswick cases discussed above – i.e., where the issue is one of true functionality under §2(e)(5), but where the nature of the mark makes the functionality determination turn on evidence of particular competitive advantages that are not necessarily categorized as "utilitarian" in nature. Any such use of the term "aesthetic functionality" should be closely tied to a discussion of specific competitive advantages resulting from use of the proposed mark at issue, so that it is clear that the refusal is properly based on the functionality doctrine and not on an incorrect use of "aesthetic functionality" to mean ornamentation.

    See TMEP §§1202.05 and 1202.05(b) for additional discussion and case references regarding the functionality issue in connection with color marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    Forcing a modular design would greatly increase the cost and ease of manufacture. If anyone has actually bothered to read the stuff I've posted here, that goes squarely against trademark law. For people who say "just put a cover on it..." same damn thing, it affects the cost of manufacture.

    Let's recap And please read this time... don't let your eyes gloss over, or go all ADD. This sh!t is important for you people to know. Half of the entire industry doesn't even know the difference between patents and trademarks are for. "What do you mean, Dimarzio has a patent on cream?" ugh...
    There's no need for the hostility. I've already acknowledged that I accidentally used the term "patent", but understand the distinction.

    I don't agree that the double cream is an outdated aesthetic. If it's associated with 80's metal, it's only because of DiMarzio's association with said 80's metal. I have many cream bound guitars that would look great with double cream pickups. If anything, I'd say "zebra" is the more dated look, since it's aesthetically arbitrary, as in, there are very few guitars that feature as mix of black parts and cream parts for which you could say "zebra" is a logical match.

    I had replied to you in post #11, but you didn't respond. I don't believe dry-cleaning pads could be likened to fabric or guitar pickups, because a dry-cleaning pad is a stand alone product, not a component is included in a larger finished product, as is fabric or a guitar pickup. A company was allowed trademark status on red soled high heels, but a high heal is a finished product, where as a guitar pickup is not functional all by itself.

    the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s determination that the color black for outboard motors was functional because, while it had no utilitarian effect on the mechanical working of the engines, it nevertheless provided other identifiable competitive advantages, i.e., ease of coordination with a variety of boat colors and reduction in the apparent size of the engines.
    IMO, this describes the situation relating to the double cream trademark perfectly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kolbeck View Post
    There's no need for the hostility. I've already acknowledged that I accidentally used the term "patent", but understand the distinction.

    I don't agree that the double cream is an outdated aesthetic. If it's associated with 80's metal, it's only because of DiMarzio's association with said 80's metal. I have many cream bound guitars that would look great with double cream pickups. If anything, I'd say "zebra" is the more dated look, since it's aesthetically arbitrary, as in, there are very few guitars that feature as mix of black parts and cream parts for which you could say "zebra" is a logical match.

    I had replied to you in post #11, but you didn't respond. I don't believe dry-cleaning pads could be likened to fabric or guitar pickups, because a dry-cleaning pad is a stand alone product, not a component is included in a larger finished product, as is fabric or a guitar pickup. A company was allowed trademark status on red soled high heels, but a high heal is a finished product, where as a guitar pickup is not functional all by itself.



    IMO, this describes the situation relating to the double cream trademark perfectly.
    Sorry, that hostility wasn't directed towards you really. It's true that half the industry thinks it's some sort of patent. My hostility (irritation, really) comes from those who don't or don't want to understand how aesthetics can be of any importance... the "function" of aesthetics.
    .. and the whole "bobbin toppers" thing drives me up the wall. An ugly, POS solution to an issue that shouldn't exist.

    You're right about the dry cleaning pads.. theyr'e stand-alone products. and you're dead on when it comes to the Mercury case.... and the John Deere case, which was all about color-coordination.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Companies do trademark colors associated with their brand.

    This color green is trademarked by H&R Block. But only when it's a square like this.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	14-HRBlock-Thumbnail.jpg 
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ID:	39619

    This website has a good article, they state:

    "Years later, in another case, the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated that a single color can indeed be a brand, so long as the public strongly associates the color and the specific product and that the color is in no way functional."

    And

    "For example, when you see chocolate candy in a purple wrapper, you know it's Cadbury: when you see a turquoise box for jewelry, you know it's from Tiffany & Co."

    Color & Trademarks

    Now the thing with DiMarzio is that that cream color is no longer strongly associated with their brand. Not like it was in the 70s when they only came in cream. And they now state the standard color of their pickups is black.

    "What is the "standard" color for DiMarzio® pickups?
    Unless otherwise noted, the standard color for all full-sized Humbuckers, Soap Bars, Tele, Bass and Acoustic pickups is black. The standard color for all Strat replacement pickups is white. The standard finish on pickups with metal covers is polished nickel."

    Frequently Asked Questions | DiMarzio

    That makes it sound like they abandoned their trademark.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    Half of the entire industry doesn't even know the difference between patents and trademarks are for.
    There's also design patents, which only protect the decorative, but not functional aspect of a product. And that leads us afoul with the Rickenbacker design patent for the horseshoe pickup, since the functional patent ran out a long time ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Companies do trademark colors associated with their brand.

    This color green is trademarked by H&R Block. - - - - - -
    What can brown do for you? UPS owns brown, as long as it's a truck & a uniform, maybe some other items besides. Black & Decker owns orange & white for their packaging, or is it orange & black... ? Funny trend this "ownership" of a color or combination. In any case I never thought much of DiMarzio's glom on cream humbuckers, sounds to me like "who's afraid of the big bad lawyers" more than anything.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    What can brown do for you? UPS owns brown, as long as it's a truck & a uniform, maybe some other items besides. Black & Decker owns orange & white for their packaging, or is it orange & black... ? Funny trend this "ownership" of a color or combination. In any case I never thought much of DiMarzio's glom on cream humbuckers, sounds to me like "who's afraid of the big bad lawyers" more than anything.
    Yeah, but back in the 70s when they were only cream, you knew right away when you saw a guitar or bass with them what brand it was. But as soon as they started making mostly black pickups they lost that brand recognition.

    Like what if UPS started painting their trucks orange... That's what DiMarzio has done to their trademark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Yeah, but back in the 70s when they were only cream, you knew right away when you saw a guitar or bass with them what brand it was. But as soon as they started making mostly black pickups they lost that brand recognition.

    Like what if UPS started painting their trucks orange... That's what DiMarzio has done to their trademark.
    Hm, back in the 70's I just wasn't hip to double creams being exclusively DiMarzio. What the heck did I know? Far as I care, DiMarzio could make their pickups purple with pink polka dots. Yes I'm aware some people consider their guitars to be fashion accompaniments, hell I worked for a guy who definitely did. In any case I hope double cream ceases being a DiMarzio "service mark" or whatever, and goes back to Oreos where it belongs.

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    looking back at the history of the humbucker, paf's existed in 3 colour combinations, double black, black and cream (zebra) and double cream. these were as we all know quite random as they were not intended to be exposed, but rather hidden under a cover. dimarzio trademarked the double cream, but they potentially also could have copyrighted the other two combinations as well, even though they existed prior.

    I wonder what dimarzio would say if Gibson released a double cream burstbucker ? Gibson would rightly have a valid argument that they were making double creams when larry was in diapers.

    I do recall that around the same time that dimarzio flooded the market with their super distortion pickup, mighty mite, Lawrence, and many others also offered double cream. as for the mighty mite pickups, I recall reading somewhere that they were made for them by dimarzio at some stage.

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    Mean boy pokes stick in the cage

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    Let's recap And please read this time... don't let your eyes gloss over, or go all ADD. This sh!t is important for you people to know.
    Speaking for myself, I could no more not "go all ADD" than you could not "go all OCD".
    I don't have a horse in this race, but just happen to find this sh!t fairly interesting.
    Nonetheless, I think that, for a casual observer, I have a firm enough grasp of the concept of "aesthetic functionality".

    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Those sound like real functionality differences (or whatever the legal term is).
    What I meant to say (but was too tired to look up) was:
    If black plastic is softer and shows scratches more easily than white or cream plastic, those are issues of utilitarian functionality.

    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    By "accepted" I mean this. Guitarists are very aesthetically-minded people. Guitars typically come with white, cream, or black binding. ... I have never been asked for any other color other than black, cream, or zebra, or white.
    In other words, you are saying guitarists have no imagination and like to see what they've already seen.
    (If they had any taste, some one would be making a fortune selling "speed knob gold" trim kits.)

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Companies do trademark colors associated with their brand...

    This website has a good article, they state...
    "For example, when you see chocolate candy in a purple wrapper, you know it's Cadbury: when you see a turquoise box for jewelry, you know it's from Tiffany & Co."
    Yes, but Cadbury and Tiffany still put their name or logo on their packaging.
    The whacky thing about DiMarzio's color trademark is that it has always been an "insider's in-the-know secret handshake" trade dress.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Now the thing with DiMarzio is that that cream color is no longer strongly associated with their brand. Not like it was in the 70s when they only came in cream. And they now state the standard color of their pickups is black....

    That makes it sound like they abandoned their trademark.
    Something I find (mildly) interesting is that the more I look into it, the more it seems that DiMarzio pioneered not only the idea of making pickup bobbins to be seen, but the aesthetic of color-coordinating trim and binding to to match bobbins and plastic pickup covers.

    In days of old, electric guitars came with binding in one of 3 styles: black, white, or some form of laminated black & white striping. (Sure, old maple-necked Vega banjos had "ivoroid" binding, and certain Martin dreadnaughts had "herring bone" binding, and so on- but now I'm going all ADD.) Around 1977-78 (I remember because it was around the time of the Ibanez LP lawsuit), the owner of my local music store showed me two black LPs- one used & one brand new. He was gushing over the look of the aged binding against the patina-ed black finish. I concurred it looked neat, as long as you spent your time gazing at the edge of your guitar neck....

    Where was I? Oh yea, the point is that in the old days, you didn't buy a LP with cream binding; you bought a LP with white binding and waited for it to turn yellow.

    I have searched Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, and have found no reference to a Les Paul with cream binding earlier than the 1978 Pro-Deluxe (a goldtop with two soapbar P-90s). The earliest with exposed coil HBs (and black pickup rings): Les Paul Standard, shipped in 1979.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=M-...ing%22&f=false

    As you've noted here, http://music-electronics-forum.com/t29076-2/#post256032 , DiMarzio began selling Super Distortion pickups in 1972, and used to sell matching cream trim kits, including binding, for Les Pauls. It appears they probably could have trademarked those trim kits- but did not.

    So now, it seems that after years of guitar manufacturers copying a color scheme originated by DiMarzio, we have a bizarre and ironic situation: DiMarzio is suing pickup makers for violating a "secret" trademark that they have effectively abandoned, while said pickup makers are claiming aesthetic functionality because guitar players want pickups to match a trim color scheme that DiMarzio originated but never trademarked.
    Or something like that.

    Getting to the point, hey look! There goes a white squirrel! OK, I'm back.
    Do you (not you, David, I mean the universal you) want to make pickups, or do you want to spend all your time and money fighting legal battles?
    Referring to this info from DM's trademark https://trademarks.justia.com/731/50/n-a-73150505.html
    I see this:

    Image Trademark with Serial Number 73150505
    Status: 800 - Registered And Renewed

    Mark Drawing 2S15 - Illustration: Drawing or design without any word(s)/letter(s)/ number(s)

    Description of Mark: The mark comprises the double design representation of an electronic sound pickup for guitars, which is disclaimed apart from the mark as shown.
    Does that mean you could avoid infringing DM's trademark simply by putting some word(s)/letter(s)/number(s) on the front of the pickup? Like, say, your logo? Yes, I realize this might increase production costs by some trivial amount. But if you are proud of your product, why wouldn't you want it to be easily identified? Unless, of course, your actual intent is to infringe on DM's trademark....

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Hm, back in the 70's I just wasn't hip to double creams being exclusively DiMarzio. What the heck did I know?
    Me neither. I have a '70s P-Bass, bought at a swap meet because the price was right. I figured the brass nut and Badass II bridge might not be original (not to mention the toggle switch on the spray-painted aluminum scratch guard), but had no inkling the cream covers meant "hot-rod after-market pickup".

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Yes I'm aware some people consider their guitars to be fashion accompaniments, hell I worked for a guy who definitely did.
    In a Guitar Player interview with Rick Nelson, he claimed he never turned the control knobs on his checkerboard guitars to a position that would break up the visual pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    In any case I hope double cream ceases being a DiMarzio "service mark" or whatever, and goes back to Oreos where it belongs.
    Hate to tell you this, but I'm pretty sure the "creme" in Oreos is lard and sugar.

    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 06-24-2016 at 02:02 AM. Reason: Bolded/emphasized main premise.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    IMO none of this means anything, if no one is going to do anything!

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    Courage is being Scared to Death, but Saddling up anyway! (John Wayne)

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    I'm not a lawyer, and even I can see that the case law is not in DiMarzio's favor. It's obviously a lack of collective will power that keeps the status quo what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr fab View Post
    looking back at the history of the humbucker, paf's existed in 3 colour combinations, double black, black and cream (zebra) and double cream. these were as we all know quite random as they were not intended to be exposed, but rather hidden under a cover.
    How is aged white or unpigmented butyrate the same as new cream pigmented ABS?
    PAF bobbins were never "cream".
    http://www.guitarhq.com/paf.html

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    Last edited by rjb; 06-24-2016 at 03:33 AM.

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