Dean CEO Fires Back at Gibson Lawsuit Ruling, Reveals Whether They’ll Change Guitar Design

The whole Gibson vs. Dean legal battle lasted about three years, finally ending last week. The jury’s verdict? Dean lost. However, things are a bit complicated and somewhat unclear. Although Gibson bragged about it publicly, there was a mention of a $4,000 sum. The initial sum requested by Gibson was $7,000,000. Now, whether it’s $4,000 in total as many believe, or $4,000 per an infringed model – we’re not entirely sure. Here’s a video explaining the lawsuit in more detail.

GIBSON WINS Dean Guitars Lawsuit.... Or Did They?

The ruling stated that Dean infringed upon Explorer, Flying V, ES, and SG electric guitar body shapes. The same goes for the Hummingbird acoustic body design. However, they were found not guilty of infringing on the so-called “dove wing” headstock design.

Gibson will keep the trademarks for these body shapes in the US. However, in a new statement given to, Dean CEO Evan Rubinson said that the company is not dropping their V and Z models. He offered:

“We have no plans to drop the Dean V and Z guitars, nor the Dean Evo headstock design, as the jury found no trademark liability on any of those. That said, the case is by no means over – there will likely be a post-trial briefing, and Gibson may potentially appeal the verdict, despite their touted victory.”

Explaining whether these guitar models will see some modifications that would make them more distinguishable from Gibson, he offered:

“Other than our Dean Gran Sport model, our position is that no existing body shapes or names need to be modified, especially in light of the ruling on Armadillo’s defenses that Gibson’s claims against the Dean V, Z, and Evo headstock were found to have no trademark liability. Once again, the case is still ongoing, and this is subject to any post-trial or appeal decisions.”

Regarding the $4,000 settlement, he said:

“Despite Gibson’s initial demands of tens of millions of dollars, the total amount awarded by the jury was $4000.00, which covers all claims and shapes at issue.”

Photo: Prinz78390 (Dean V 30th anniversary – head), Ron Cogswell (Gibson Factory sign in early morning, Memphis)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.