Gibson's Newest Model...the Jimi Hendrix Strat?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009| by Will Chen

It wasn’t that long ago that Gibson and PRS were in a legal battle over PRS’s singlecut which Gibson claimed infringed upon their classic Les Paul design. PRS won. Fender similarly tried several years later to stop several makers from building Strat and Tele styled instruments and also lost their case. The basic legal argument is that over time these designs have become generic by their shear abundance in pop culture and the company’s by not actively protecting their trademarks over the years have yielded their general shapes to the public domain.

In a case of ultimate hypocrisy, Gibson will soon be releasing a very Stratocaster inspired Jimi Hendrix signature model. I could understand a signature Flying V like the limited edition Guitar Center exclusive released in 2006, Hendrix regularly played a hand painted one which would be a perfect addition to the Gibson line. But a Stratocaster copy? Gibson should be ashamed of this blatant attempt to shamelessly capitalize off the memory of Jimi Hendrix…

You can read an interview with Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s sister and the president and CEO of Authentic Hendrix here and see photos of the design under construction here.

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