Register It Or Lose It

There can be few, if any, musical instruments as instantly identifiable as the Fender Stratocaster® and Telecaster®. Although the names have been registered trade marks owned by the Fender Corporation for many years, the company had not attempted to register the distinctive body shapes of the instruments until recently. The shapes of the headstocks of both guitars and their logos have long been registered as trade marks.

Regrettably for Fender, the existence of widespread copying of the shapes for more than half a century (both guitars were introduced in the 1950s) has led to millions of ‘fake Fenders’ being sold throughout the world.

The US Federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejected Fender’s application after it was opposed by 17 other guitar manufacturers.

If you have distinctive designs, failure to protect them may lead to significant losses. For advice on protecting the intellectual property in your business, contact Stuart Miller.

The material contained in this article is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken.

© , July 2009

Please contact:

Stuart Miller - Partner

DD +44 (0)20 7553 9936

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