Although things have been brewing up behind the scenes for a while, it was only this year that Dean finally faced legal action from Gibson. Back in May, the jury found Dean guilty of infringing on some of Gibson’s trademarks. The court ruled that Dean was to cease production, marketing, and sale of all Z and V models. Along with that comes the decision to make Dean pay for all the legal costs which summed up to around $330,000 in the end.
However, as Guitar.com reports, Dean and its parent company Armadillo won’t be having any of that. Armadillo has appealed the judgment and other court orders. They explained in the official statement:
“…all appearing Defendants/Counterclaim-Plaintiffs hereby appeal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [..] the Final Judgement […] and each and every prior order of the district court herein.”
2022 has been a pretty rough year for Armadillo and Dean. Aside from this legal battle with Gibson, Dean CEO Evan Rubinson was ousted by the Armadillo owner Pamela Keris-Rubinson, who is also his mother, for embezzling over $420,000. Additionally, Evan claimed that he left the position on his own, although this contradicts his mother’s official statement as the company owner.
As the source further explains, the appeal seems to be a pretty risky move and Armadillo is going “all-in” in this gamble-like move. If it all fails, they’ll still have to pay all of the legal costs, plus the additional ones. But if they succeed, they’ll get things back on track.
To make this whole drama even worse, Gibson has recently accused Dean of ignoring the court ruling. The latter has kept some of the models involved in this lawsuit on their website as if nothing was going on. Additionally, Gibson further accused former Dean CEO of “bragging” in an interview with Guitar.com where he stated that they’ll keep pumping out Z and V models. Gibson filed the appeal on August 8 and the whole thing could just add to Dean’s already critical legal fees that they owe to Gibson.
This is, of course, a developing story. And judging from recent events, it seems like it won’t end anytime soon. One possible outcome is that Armadillo will keep appealing until they fold entirely or get their second chance. But at this point, this is nothing but speculation. Stay tuned for more updates. Seems like there’ll be more to come.
Photo: Martin Hesketh (Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus headstock (2014-08-16 06.06.49 by Martin Hesketh)), Prinz78390 (Dean V 30th anniversary – head)