Dean appeals historic Gibson trademark decision

Dean’s parent company, Armadillo, has formally appealed the final judgment, along with numerous other court orders, of its trademark battle with Gibson.

In a new filing, Armadillo notifies that “all appearing defendants/counterclaimants” – i.e. Armadillo and Concordia Investment Partners – “hereby appeal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [..] the last judgement […] and each prior district court order here. Armadillo had previously stated his intention to fight Gibson’s win, which has now been made official.

The final judgment, one of several orders Armadillo is appealing, ruled that the company is “permanently prohibited from manufacturing, advertising and/or selling” guitars that infringe Gibson’s trademarks. – including Dean V and Dean Z models. While the jury verdict initially found that the damages resulting from Armadillo’s breach amounted to only $4,000, the final judgment ultimately ruled that Gibson’s legal costs fell to Armadillo. The total amount of legal fees Armadillo owed Gibson, at the time of the final judgment, was over $330,000. This makes the appeal potentially risky: by prolonging the case, Armadillo could increase the legal costs he owes Gibson. On the other hand, he could annul this part of the judgment, or even the entirety of the judgment.

And so the potential future of this business is now even more labyrinthine than before. In addition to appealing the result, Dean also faces a contempt of court charge from Gibson for failing to remove the listings for its V and Z series of guitars. Evan Rubinson at that “the jury found no trademark liability” on the Dean V and Dean Z guitars was also part of Gibson’s contempt of court argument.

The filing is only a notice of appeal; details of how Armadillo intends to argue against the judgment have not yet been released.

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