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Thread: Dimarzio has REVIVED the blade trademark application

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    Dimarzio has REVIVED the blade trademark application

    WARNING

    Last year, it was rejected for functionality.

    They have revived it as on November 7th.

    Trademark Status & Document Retrieval




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    Man, I haven't got the time to slog through all those attachments.
    But, going by what I've seen, this new application is pretty strong evidence that Bienstock has gone completely meshugenah.
    His argument that DM has "acquired distinctiveness" for the color cream is basically that, in the 1970s, DiM pioneered the mass marketing of replacement pickups- and that some rock stars still use them.

    The original examiner's search has already found that DM provides pickups in a multitude of colors, that DM's "default" color for many models is black, that other manufacturers sell pickups with blade pole pieces, and that other manufacturers sell pickups with cream covers. If the color cream did have acquired distinctiveness in 1979, then DM has lost that distinctiveness by dilution of its own brand.

    Beanie might have a valid argument if DiM sold only pickups with cream covers, or if he could show ads with text and/or images that linked the color to the brand (e.g. "for that creamy tone, blah, blah, blah" or maybe a pic of a Super Distortion stuck in a dish of creme brle....)

    Instead, he submits a pile of photos, most of which weaken his argument. Some show that, depending on the guitar's finish, it can be difficult to distinguish "DiMarzio cream" from aged white. In some, the lighting contrast between the guitar and the pickups make the DiMs appear to be bright white. Then the ads that show DMs in a variety of colors. And the GP cover with an old Gretsch Chet Atkins model sporting a pair of H-covered Filtertrons... WTF?

    IMHO, I wouldn't lose any sleep over this.

    -rb

    ps- On the monitor I'm using, the "distinctive shade of cream" in the drawing has a yucky green undertone. Can that be right?

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-12-2017 at 08:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Man, I haven't got the time to slog through all those attachments.
    But, going by what I've seen, this new application is pretty strong evidence that Bienstock has gone completely meshugenah.
    His argument that DM has "acquired distinctiveness" for the color cream is basically that, in the 1970s, DiM pioneered the mass marketing of replacement pickups- and that some rock stars still use them.

    The original examiner's search has already found that DM provides pickups in a multitude of colors, that DM's "default" color for many models is black, that other manufacturers sell pickups with blade pole pieces, and that other manufacturers sell pickups with cream covers. If the color cream did have acquired distinctiveness in 1979, then DM has lost that distinctiveness by dilution of its own brand.

    Beanie might have a valid argument if DiM sold only pickups with cream covers, or if he could show ads with text and/or images that linked the color to the brand (e.g. "for that creamy tone, blah, blah, blah" or maybe a pic of a Super Distortion stuck in a dish of creme brle....)

    Instead, he submits a pile of photos, most of which weaken his argument. Some show that, depending on the guitar's finish, it can be difficult to distinguish "DiMarzio cream" from aged white. In some, the lighting contrast between the guitar and the pickups make the DiMs appear to be bright white. Then the ads that show DMs in a variety of colors. And the GP cover with an old Gretsch Chet Atkins model sporting a pair of H-covered Filtertrons... WTF?

    IMHO, I wouldn't lose any sleep over this.

    -rb

    ps- On the monitor I'm using, the "distinctive shade of cream" in the drawing has a yucky green undertone. Can that be right?
    Are you talking about the long list of attachments in the Office Action Outgoing dated 2-8-17?
    Those are the examining attorney's arguments AGAINST registration.


    My own website is used as attachment 1 and 2 =)



    USPTO TSDR Case Viewer

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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeMacleod View Post
    Are you talking about the long list of attachments in the Office Action Outgoing dated 2-8-17?
    Those are the examining attorney's arguments AGAINST registration.
    No, I'm referring to the long list of attachments in "Petition To Revive Abandoned Application - Failure To Respond Timely To Office Action" dated Nov. 06 2017.
    The attachments include the Petition itself, plus "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit B".
    I'm on a borrowed computer, and don't know how to provide direct links.
    I didn't bother to peruse any documents beyond the petition, as it is a total joke.
    IMHO.

    EDIT:
    Under the Petition's "Exhibit A" I see several ads with Ace Frehley and his SD-equipped guitars, Nita Strauss and Steve Vai with guitars equipped with pickups that appear to be white, Lesley West in a photo so blurry that you can't tell what the pickup looks like.... I haven't yet seen a dual-blade pickup, and I don't have the time or patience to scan all 144 documents.

    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-13-2017 at 04:20 AM.
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    The mark consists of a three-dimensional configuration of an electronic sound pickup for guitars featuring a double coil design in a distinctive shade of cream. The broken lines depicting the two blades indicate placement of the mark on the goods and are not part of the mark.
    Is DiM trying to claim a trademark on the look of a blade equipped pickup? Or are they saying that they seek trademark protection for only doublecream blade equipped pickups?

    This almost reads to me as an attempt to not only redo their 'doublecream' trademark but also try to claim trademark on doublebladed humbucking pickups at the same time by trademarking both features at once... the doublecream coil scheme they already have and blade polepieces too on top. Then, if they claimed trademark on twocoil pickups with one blade per coil, what would stop them from claiming a trademark on singlecoil pickups with blade polepieces? Or black doublebladed humbuckers?

    I wonder what Gibson (Charlie Christian pickups) and Barden among others thinks about this?

    ken

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    Man, we've been through this a bazillion times!

    The requested trademark is for the "distinctive shade of cream" of the dual blade bobbins.
    The tortured, contorted language in the application is the description suggested by the USPTO examiner.

    The the blades cannot be part of the trademark because they are a functional part of the design. That is why the blades are drawn in broken lines, per USPTO rules.
    You can trademark high heeled shoes with contrasting China red soles. You cannot trademark shoes with soles.

    Sidebar:
    Some may recall that DM originally wanted the trademark for their Super Distortion pickups to include the hex head screw polepieces and lozenge-shaped bobbins.
    The USPTO disallowed the hex heads and bobbin shape because they are functional- thereby granting DM a trademark on any cream-colored humbucker with any type of round polepiece and any shape of bobbin.
    And thereby starting the 100 Year Pickup War.

    Back to the current petition:
    Bienstock has the burden of proof to show that cream-colored dual blade humbuckers have a "secondary meaning".
    He has to show that DiMarzio's cream-colored dual-blade humbuckers are so well-known and ubiquitous that a customer would be likely to assume that any cream-colored dual-blade humbucker offered for sale was made by DiMarzio.
    His argument is that DM is a big company that has been around for a long time, makes nearly 200 models of pickups, spends a lot of money on advertising, and has endorsements by big-name rock stars.
    He says that over 30,000 "cream" units have been sold, but doesn't mention how many "other color" units have also been sold.
    He mentions a large advertising budget, but doesn't mention how much is spent on on linking the "distinctive shade of cream" to DiMarzio products, or to specifically promoting pickups that look like the submitted drawing.
    He submits as "Exhibit A" a shitload of ads for DiMarzio pickups that look nothing like the submitted drawing.

    IMHO, the man has lost it.
    Everyone knows that all cream-colored dual-blade humbuckers are made by Bill Lawrence.
    2464214-bill-lawrence-wilde-humbucking-pickups-l500r-l500l-2015-cream-chrome


    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-14-2017 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Correction: "over" to "nearly" 200 models
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    The requested trademark is for the "distinctive shade of cream" of the dual blade bobbins. The tortured, contorted language in the application is the description suggested by the USPTO examiner.
    The blades cannot be part of the trademark because they are a functional part of the design. That is why the blades are drawn in broken lines, per USPTO rules.You can trademark high heeled shoes with contrasting China red soles. You cannot trademark shoes with soles.
    You forget... you know this, I know this, everybody who makes pickups knows this by heart. Unfortunately, patent examiners don't normally make, buy or sell guitar pickups. If this was just about the 'distinctive shade of cream for pickup bobbins', DiM already has a patent on that. He doesn't need to bother with that. The question is why bother reopening a dead denied patent application that shows a BLADE pickup but not the originally won patent's drawing showing individual poles? If this goes up to another patent examiner who knows that blade poles are purely functional, then we have no problem and this new patent app dies again. If this goes to an examiner who thinks the blades are actually decorative, like cute chrome bumpers on a car, then we have a major problem.

    This is costing a lot of money for attorneys. Follow the money - why is DiM bothering to reopen this at all and what would he get if he wins? He already has the patent for dual cream pickups so what's really in it for him? Is DiM trying to 'back door' a patent application for blade pickups by piggybacking it on the dual cream patent he already has?

    Think about it

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    Last edited by ken; 12-14-2017 at 04:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    ...and I don't have the time or patience to scan all 144 documents.
    I just did that and I still think the Petition is a joke.
    Most of the attached Exhibits have absolutely nothing to do with the pickup he's obviously trying to trademark (the X2N, introduced in 1979 2116), and only serve to weaken the case.
    The fact that the X2N is available in double black and double white doesn't help.
    The "sign on the line" dealer and customer affadavits are laughable.

    Random Musing:
    It might be "nice" for everyone involved if DM could trademark the overall look of the X2N, with the fat black anodized blade contrasting with the cream bobbins, and the rounded blade ends echoing the rounded bobbin ends.
    But, since the blades are a functional element of the design, the USPTO will not allow that.
    So, in order to get a trademark on the double cream bobbins, DM has to hope no one notices that customers have been buying Bill Lawrence L500s since forever.
    I kinda doubt they're going to get away with it.

    -rb

    PS: Ken posted while I was writing this.

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-14-2017 at 05:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    If this goes up to another patent examiner...
    Trademark examiner.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    ...who knows that blade poles are purely functional, then we have no problem and this new patent app dies again. If this goes to an examiner who thinks the blades are actually decorative, like cute chrome bumpers on a car, then we have a major problem.
    All the documents associated with the denied application go with the petition to reopen.
    The original examiner knows that blade poles are functional, and attached links to "how a pickup works" sites.
    The denial states that the poles are functional. That is why DM had to submit a revised drawing.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    Think about it.
    Read the documents.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    This is costing a lot of money for attorneys. Follow the money - why is DiM bothering to reopen this at all and what would he get if he wins?
    I have no good answer for that.
    I really don't know if Larry DiMarzio was ever personally involved with the trademark applications filed on behalf of his company.*
    Follow the money - whether DiM wins or loses, all the attorneys involved in the case will make a pile of it.

    -rb

    *I did notice that Larry personally took the photos for some of the ads. The guy needs to learn about color balance.

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-14-2017 at 05:53 PM.
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    Editorial


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    Senior Member ken's Avatar
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    I don't have a dog in this fight, as I don't make bladed humbuckers.

    Rjb, why don't you explain to us why this trademark reopening is important and what happens if DiM wins?

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    I don't have a dog in this fight, as I only build stuff for my own use.

    I'm also not a lawyer.
    But when the discussion here has turned to patents and trademarks, I got so tired of seeing the same bogus information and silly speculation repeated year after year that I decided to hunker down and study how the system works.
    Would you enjoy being in a forum where circuit theory is passionately argued by people who don't know a resistor from a capacitor? Well, quite often, that's what this feels like. Sigh.

    Ken, why don't you read the trademark application and pertinent USPTO rules and explain to us why DiM's petition has a Snowball's Chance in Hell?
    Hint: In USPTO parlance, define the terms "inherently distinct", "acquired distinctiveness", and "secondary meaning".
    Then tell us if DiM has provided adequate and convincing proof of secondary meaning for this product.

    And what if the unimaginable happens and the USPTO actually approves DiM's application?
    Well, the trademark registration gets listed in the Official Gazette (published every Tuesday) and you have 30 days to challenge it before the trademark is granted.
    Is anyone here monitoring the OG? Not me, but I betcha someone is.
    Could he/she demonstrate lack of secondary meaning for DiM's product? You betcha. (Hint: See Bill Lawrence L500.)

    I sincerely apologize for the obnoxious, arrogant, and/or condenscending tone.
    I'm really just trying to offer some assurance that the Big Bad Larry isn't going to blow your house down.

    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-16-2017 at 06:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    No, I'm referring to the long list of attachments in "Petition To Revive Abandoned Application - Failure To Respond Timely To Office Action" dated Nov. 06 2017.
    T......and I don't have the time or patience to scan all 144 documents.

    -rb
    Ahha, somehow I missed that document, thanks. I'll look over everything...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    You forget... you know this, I know this, everybody who makes pickups knows this by heart. Unfortunately, patent examiners don't normally make, buy or sell guitar pickups. If this was just about the 'distinctive shade of cream for pickup bobbins', DiM already has a patent on that. He doesn't need to bother with that. The question is why bother reopening a dead denied patent application that shows a BLADE pickup but not the originally won patent's drawing showing individual poles? If this goes up to another patent examiner who knows that blade poles are purely functional, then we have no problem and this new patent app dies again. If this goes to an examiner who thinks the blades are actually decorative, like cute chrome bumpers on a car, then we have a major problem.

    This is costing a lot of money for attorneys. Follow the money - why is DiM bothering to reopen this at all and what would he get if he wins? He already has the patent for dual cream pickups so what's really in it for him? Is DiM trying to 'back door' a patent application for blade pickups by piggybacking it on the dual cream patent he already has?

    Think about it
    Can we please get the terminology right, here? It's a Trademark, not a patent.

    If you're not aware of what the difference is, please learn it. The differences are HUGE.

    How a Patents Differ from Copyrights and Trademarks - FindLaw

    https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...marks-faq.html

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    Senior Member ken's Avatar
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    I know the difference between patents and trademarks... I just spent some time straightening out a couple of my own trademarks I'm working on. I wanted to see if people actually were paying attention to the post, so I switched the terms. At least I got a nice rise out of the local grammar police anyway.

    The devil is in the details here. Why is this application being renewed, and for a very specific set of pickups - double cream humbuckers with blade poles? Seems kind of silly to me, as double cream humbuckers would usually be wanted by vintage snobs and adding big ole blades to them would be antithetical... sort of pickle relish on chocolate ice cream IMO.

    That being said, whats the point? Why is there a lot of money being spent on that project again? There must be some benefit seen by somebody to merit the effort involved for something that I have never even seen being sold myself.

    I'm applying Occam's Razor here. If you pare away everything that doesn't fit, whatever remains no matter how weird must be the truth. This is what I see...

    1) DiM owns the trademark on double cream humbuckers, even if this color scheme hasn't been used by him in some time. He does not need to trademark this again, so putting this in a trademark application gives him a legal leg to stand on. Since DiM already owns the trademark on double cream bobbins *as a color*, he doesn't need a new trademark to make double creams with blades, he can just make them. He could go after others making double creams because his color trademark would be infringed.

    2) The trademark app we're arguing about was originally denied because its examiner found *blade poles* were purely functional not decorative.

    3) Retrying this application (with certain changes made) could be an attempt to get an examiner that doesn't understand how pickups work to pass the blade poles as purely decorative, like the chrome side strips and bumpers on a 1950s car.

    Sooo...

    4) If this new attempt works, DiM would get the right to make double cream pickups with blades. What's to stop him from next trying to trademark zebra humbuckers with blades, then black ones?

    One more thing... forums work to disseminate information. The information may or may not have anything to do with the reader's situation or interests. If you see something you personally dislike for some reason, don't comment on it. Somebody else may need the information even if you don't. In other words, sometimes it's not all about you.
    Ken

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    Last edited by ken; 12-17-2017 at 05:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    know the difference between patents and trademarks.. I wanted to see if people actually were paying attention to the post, so I switched the terms. At least I got a nice rise out of the local grammar police anyway.
    I prefer the title "fact checker". My grammar sucks.
    Pop quiz: In trademark law, the word “distinctive” has a specific legal meaning. Name the five levels of distinctiveness, from strongest to weakest. Just kidding.
    EDIT: Here's the answer. (Someone might find it either slightly useful or mildly amusing.) http://music-electronics-forum.com/t42305-2/#post431656

    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    Why is this application being renewed, and for a very specific set of pickups - double cream humbuckers with blade poles?
    Wait a minute, let me crank up the old speculator. How about this?
    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    ...Bienstock has gone completely meshugenah.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    Seems kind of silly to me,
    Me too.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    since double cream humbuckers would usually be wanted by vintage snobs and adding big ole blades to them would be antithetical... sort of pickle relish on chocolate ice cream IMO.
    According to the DiM website, that model was introduced in 1979. The attached ads in the application appear to back up that claim.
    Wasn't pickle relish on chocolate ice cream a fad in '79?


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    That being said, whats the point? Why is there a lot of money being spent on that project again? There must be some benefit seen by somebody to merit the effort involved for something that I have never even seen being sold myself.
    Maybe "somebody" is Ronald Bienstock. He'll earn his fees regardless of outcome.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    ...Since DiM already owns the trademark on double cream bobbins *as a color*,
    I thought so too. But maybe USPTO screwed up while updating to computer filing? Looky here.

    I JUST FOUND THIS. CAN SOME ONE EXPLAIN IT?

    https://trademarks.justia.com/731/50/n-73150505.html
    Status 790 - Cancellation Pending
    Indication of Colors claimed Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    he doesn't need a new trademark to make double creams with blades, he can just make them. He could go after others making double creams because his color trademark would be infringed.
    Perhaps not. Probably up to interpretation.
    The single drawing in the original trademark (specifically, a drawing of a Super Distortion) shows round pole pieces.
    Functional or not, no customer is likely to confuse a rounded rectangle for six circles.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    2) The trademark app we're arguing about was originally denied because its examiner found *blade poles* were purely functional not decorative.
    Yup.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    3) Retrying this application (with certain changes made) could be an attempt to get an examiner that doesn't understand how pickups work to pass the blade poles as purely decorative, like the chrome side strips and bumpers on a 1950s car.
    Re: Occam's razor. This does not fit.
    Have you actually read the application and associated USPTO documentation?
    It would be impossible to overlook the numerous statements that the blades are functional.
    No matter how ignorant examiners may be about pickups, they are not total morons.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    4) If this new attempt works, DiM would get the right to make double cream pickups with blades.
    ???? He already has that right. I guess you meant exclusive right?


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    What's to stop him from next trying to trademark zebra humbuckers with blades, then black ones?
    This.
    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    In USPTO parlance, define the terms "inherently distinctive", "acquired distinctiveness", and "secondary meaning".
    Then tell us if DiM has provided adequate and convincing proof of secondary meaning for this product.


    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    One more thing... forums work to disseminate information. The information may or may not have anything to do with the reader's situation or interests. If you see something you personally dislike for some reason, don't comment on it. Somebody else may need the information even if you don't. In other words, sometimes it's not all about you.
    Sometimes it takes a disinterested party to sort emotionally-charged speculation and disinformation from fact-based information.
    Somebody else may need the information even if you find it distasteful or tedious and boring.

    EXAMPLES
    Information: Oppositions to a trademark must be filed within 30 days of publication in the Official Gazette, which is published electronically every Tuesday.
    Speculation: Retrying this application (with certain changes made) could be an attempt to get an examiner that doesn't understand how pickups work to pass the blade poles as purely decorative,...
    Misinformation: DiM's ultimate goal is to trademark all pickup configurations in all possible colors. But I'm going to foil DiM by registering the color beige (with Pantone ID#) and offering it to everyone for a $1 life-time licensing fee.

    -rb

    PS: I think I said this already, but I'm sorry if I sound like an asshole.

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    Last edited by rjb; 12-18-2017 at 06:08 AM.
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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    ...
    His argument that DM has "acquired distinctiveness" for the color cream is basically that, in the 1970s, DiM pioneered the mass marketing of replacement pickups- and that some rock stars still use them.
    ...
    Without getting into this whole mess, I'll point out here what I did on a Facebook post of mine that Wolfe hijacked...

    This is Guitar Player Magazine from 1978 with Return to Forever guitarist Al DiMeola.

    Just looking at this photo, what brand pickups are in his Les Paul?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The only pickups on the market at the time that color was... DiMarzio. Everyone knew those were Super Distortion pickups.

    This is before companies started putting logos pickups, so the color was analogous to a logo. Just like a lime green square is H&R Block.

    Beanie might have a valid argument if DiM sold only pickups with cream covers, or if he could show ads with text and/or images that linked the color to the brand (e.g. "for that creamy tone, blah, blah, blah" or maybe a pic of a Super Distortion stuck in a dish of creme brle....)
    Here's a detail in that argument. Yes, they make other colors. And they even state their standard color is black. But on the cream colored pickups there is no logo, but there is on all the other colors.

    Because the color is the brand recognition.

    And, disclaimer, I work at DiMarzio... but I'm not representing them.

    But get over it, they own the trademark in the US. They did it first. The rest is sour grapes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Without getting into this whole mess, I'll point out here what I did on a Facebook post of mine that Wolfe hijacked...

    This is Guitar Player Magazine from 1978 with Return to Forever guitarist Al DiMeola.

    Just looking at this photo, what brand pickups are in his Les Paul?

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    The only pickups on the market at the time that color was... DiMarzio. Everyone knew those were Super Distortion pickups.


    And, disclaimer, I work at DiMarzio... but I'm not representing them.
    Now it makes sense.

    Not only are you wrong, your are LYING.

    January 1977.


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    And as far as non-aftermarket, OEM stock pickups.. again, you would be wrong. Ibanez 1978 catalogue. Damned sure they were made by Maxxon back then.



    and 1975, even.


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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Everyone knew those were Super Distortion pickups.
    Not "everyone". I had no idea.
    But I must concur that in 1979 the USPTO decided DiM had provided sufficient evidence of "secondary meaning" to grant a trademark.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    This is before companies started putting logos pickups, so the color was analogous to a logo. Just like a lime green square is H&R Block.
    No, not just like H&R Block. H&R Block provides notification of their registered trademark by placing a circled R in the lime green square.

    AFAIK, DiMarzio does not provide any indication to notify consumers of the double-cream trademark anywhere on their products, packaging, advertising, catalog, or website .
    The purpose of a trademark is to identify the source of the goods. In order to continue serving that purpose, DiMarzio is required to continue informing its consumers about the trademark.
    For a very long time, DiMarzio has treated the the double-cream trademark like a closely-held secret.
    Ref: Colour_trade_mark

    Currently, there are only three classes of consumers who know about the trademark:
    1) Dinosaurs who remember Al Di Meola's picture on the cover of Guitar Player;
    2) Pickup makers who received a Cease and Desist Order from DiMarzio;
    3) Forum members who read that "DiMarzio has a patent on the color cream".





    It has been over forty years since the introduction of the DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup.
    Over. Forty. Years.
    Larry DiMarzio's assumption that guitarists in 2017 remember the introduction of the Super Distortion in the pages of Guitar Player
    is like
    Mary Jane Hudson's assumption that pianists in 1962 remembered the introduction of "I've Written a Letter to Daddy" on the stages of Vaudeville.





    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Yes, they make other colors. And they even state their standard color is black. But on the cream colored pickups there is no logo, but there is on all the other colors.
    Because the color is the brand recognition.
    Now, that is creative reasoning indeed.
    The general public is supposed to deduce that double-cream pickups are made by DiMarzio because they are the only ones that do not have a DiMarzio logo?
    Amazing. Truly amazing.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    ... they own the trademark in the US.
    For now. The SD trademark is pending cancellation hearings.
    http://music-electronics-forum.com/t43945/#post474584


    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    They did it first.
    Even if they didn't, they did trademark it first. But that's not enough.
    They have been negligent in their responsibility to educate consumers of the source-identifying significance of double-cream bobbins.

    https://www.finnegan.com/en/insights...d-4afc4f9c878e
    In nearly every case in which a trademark owner was ″victimized″⁣ by the aesthetic functionality doctrine, the trademark owner exhibited poor trademark management or otherwise undercut the ″⁣source identifying″⁣ role of its own trademark. These cases provide a list of missteps that can expose trademark owners to an aesthetic functionality attack.

    1. Failing to Use the Purported Mark as Source Identifier

    In many cases where trademarks were invalidated due to aesthetic functionality, the owners of purported trademarks failed to follow the most elementary of practices necessary to protect their trademarks, such as failing to use the TM symbol to provide notice of its trademark claim; not placing the purported mark on packaging, tags, or labeling; not using written notices on packaging that identify and claim ownership of the trademark; and failing to highlight the claimed trademark in advertising. If the purported trademark is not immediately obvious to the consumer as a source identifier, the failure of the owner to educate the consumer of its source identifying significance can be fatal.

    Sound familiar?


    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    The rest is sour grapes.
    I just call 'em as I see 'em.

    -rb

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    So, ...just when did Bill Lawrence offer cream colored L-90s? A quick web search says they were designed mid 1970s. I've owned a few of them over the years. They were succeeded by the XL-500s, also available in cream.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    I clicked on the link in the original post and it looks like DiM's application was rejected last month.



    Steve A.

    P.S. While I still do not forgive them for the double cream BS I must admit that they have come up with some very innovative designs with patents, pushing the envelope from technology going back to the 40's and 50's.

    .Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    P.S. While I still do not forgive them for the double cream BS I must admit that they have come up with some very innovative designs with patents, pushing the envelope from technology going back to the 40's and 50's.
    What would be an example of an innovative patent held by DiMarzio?

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    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigua View Post
    What would be an example of an innovative patent held by DiMarzio?
    Do a search using the name "Steve Blucher".

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigua View Post
    What would be an example of an innovative patent held by DiMarzio?
    I've been pleased with some of their P90 stacks and humbuckers like their 36th Anniversary and EJ's... I looked up the patents for these pickups and they are doing things that weren't done in the 50's.
    FWIW I look at their patents as sharing ideas with us not just protecting their intellectual property.

    Steve A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    I've been pleased with some of their P90 stacks and humbuckers like their 36th Anniversary and EJ's... I looked up the patents for these pickups and they are doing things that weren't done in the 50's.
    FWIW I look at their patents as sharing ideas with us not just protecting their intellectual property.

    Steve A.
    I've looked at some of their patents, though not their stacked HB patent(s). They're interesting ideas, but I'm not sure how much they they improve the performance of their pickups over the 40's/50's designs. I was just wondering if you had more information in terms of what sorts of benefits are realized from their patented methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    I clicked on the link in the original post and it looks like DiM's application was rejected last month.



    Steve A.

    P.S. While I still do not forgive them for the double cream BS I must admit that they have come up with some very innovative designs with patents, pushing the envelope from technology going back to the 40's and 50's.

    .Click image for larger version. 

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    It doesn't appear to be a final rejection yet. They can still respond, it seems.
    BTW, I filed a letter of protest. It was accepted.

    This should take you right to it:
    USPTO TSDR Case Viewer

    If not, access it from here:
    Trademark Status & Document Retrieval

    I urge EVERYONE to do the same, here:
    https://teas.uspto.gov/ccr/lop

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    Last edited by WolfeMacleod; 03-14-2018 at 08:51 AM.

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    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigua View Post
    I'm not sure how much they they improve the performance of their pickups over the 40's/50's designs.
    It all depends on your definition of "improve".

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    I've been pleased with some of their P90 stacks and humbuckers like their 36th Anniversary and EJ's... I looked up the patents for these pickups and they are doing things that weren't done in the 50's.
    FWIW I look at their patents as sharing ideas with us not just protecting their intellectual property.

    Steve A.
    I recently worked there for a short time. They are like 5 minutes from where I live. The thing that impressed me was how many variations they have for parts... magnets, pole pieces, bobbins. It all looks very "standard" but really isn't. Some of their humbuckers have iron slugs pressed in from the bottom increase inductance, and other little things.

    I really didn't think that they actually implemented all those patents, until I started to walk around and look at some models I wasn't working on, like the acoustic pickup with the small, round dummy coil.

    They have some cool assembly methods too... none of which I can talk about lol

    I was also surprised that they make all the MusicMan guitar pickups. Lots of pickups for Fender and Ibanez... The people there were nice, but the winding supervisor seemed to feel threatened by me. He knew NOTHING about the company, its products, or the artists that use them. lol

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    Senior Member ken's Avatar
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    I was also surprised that they make all the MusicMan guitar pickups. Lots of pickups for Fender and Ibanez... The people there were nice, but the winding supervisor seemed to feel threatened by me. He knew NOTHING about the company, its products, or the artists that use them. lol
    It is written... those in high places that know nothing about their duties are threatened by underlings who do. Maybe he thought you were after his job?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ken View Post
    It is written... those in high places that know nothing about their duties are threatened by underlings who do. Maybe he thought you were after his job?
    Or maybe you SHOULD be? I'm not saying go in with a hostile attitude, but keep the ears and eyes open if it happens to become available...

    Justin

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Some of their humbuckers have iron slugs pressed in from the bottom increase inductance
    I was giving some thought this, and at first I thought it was to increased inductance, but I think the goal was more generally to reduce the magnetic reluctance path. They might help retain a little bit of volume when you perform a string bend in between the pole pieces. Those little embedded slugs only increased the inductance by 150mH in a PAF Master neck pickup.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigua View Post
    I was giving some thought this, and at first I thought it was to increased inductance, but I think the goal was more generally to reduce the magnetic reluctance path. They might help retain a little bit of volume when you perform a string bend in between the pole pieces. Those little embedded slugs only increased the inductance by 150mH in a PAF Master neck pickup.
    The patent says it's to increase inductance to warm up the tone. The are inserted in the back, and only go about 1/8" into the bobbin. I can't see them working as pole pieces. The slugs are pretty small. Used to leave my fingers black from pressing them in. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    The patent says it's to increase inductance to warm up the tone. The are inserted in the back, and only go about 1/8" into the bobbin. I can't see them working as pole pieces. The slugs are pretty small. Used to leave my fingers black from pressing them in. lol
    I've taken a look at the buttons, I even pulled them out to take a look and measure the inductance with and without, which is where I got the 150mH value from. I agree they probably don't strengthen the magnetic field in between the pole pieces too much, but I also don't see the value in increasing the inductance in this manner. An additional 50 to 100 turns of wire should increase the inductance by 150mH just as easily. I have doubts that there is any unique benefit to their placing those iron slugs in the bobbins. I did not know they were iron though, thanks for confirming the material.

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigua View Post
    I've taken a look at the buttons, I even pulled them out to take a look and measure the inductance with and without, which is where I got the 150mH value from. I agree they probably don't strengthen the magnetic field in between the pole pieces too much, but I also don't see the value in increasing the inductance in this manner. An additional 50 to 100 turns of wire should increase the inductance by 150mH just as easily. I have doubts that there is any unique benefit to their placing those iron slugs in the bobbins. I did not know they were iron though, thanks for confirming the material.
    I make some pickups with lots of steel, but not a lot of windings. You can use less steel and increase the windings, but that sounds different.

    I have to assume they did tests... they have an actual prototype lab there (which I did not get to see), and they test all the pickups with a signal generator and a scope (which I did see). They crimp RJ45 connectors on every pickup for testing. That seems like a waste of time, but there you have it!

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