This has been one very difficult year for Dean Guitars. They lost a lawsuit against Gibson and the court ordered that Dean should cease production and sales of a huge portion of the models that they offered. Additionally, the company’s CEO Evan Rubinson, who’s also the son of the owner Pamela Keris-Rubinson, has been removed from his role for reportedly embezzling $420,000.
So they’re pretty much squashed. However, Gibson isn’t done. A new report on Guitar.com has emerged, claiming that Gibson is accusing Dean of not complying with the recent court ruling. As the source claims, Gibson has filed a motion against Armadillo, Dean’s parent company, of contempt of court. Essentially, Gibson claims that Dean has failed to act according to the recent judgment. Additionally, they’re accusing Evan of “bragging” in an interview with Guitar.com where he claimed that Dean will keep producing V and Z models.
The claim was reportedly filed on August 8 after they realized that V and Z models are still available on Dean’s official website. The judgment claimed that Dean won’t be allowed to manufacture, advertise, or sell these models.
The second issue stems from what Evan said in an interview with Guitar.com right after the jury has reached their verdict back in late May. At that point, however, there was no official ruling. That only came in late July. In that interview, Evan claimed:
“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.”
However, this seems to contradict the final court ruling where they clearly stated that Dean has infringed on these trademarks. The source also adds that the interview conducted by Guitar.com was submitted as evidence, accusing Evan of “boasting” and “bragg[ing] that it would continue to market and sell at least the Dean V and Dean Z guitars.” They also said:
“While Gibson disagreed [with Rubinson’s interpretation] it assumed that the defiance would end with the Court’s Order.”
Finally, Gibson is requesting that “the court should fine Armadillo to secure compliance with the order.” This is a developing story and we’re yet to see what comes out of this.
Photo: Martin Hesketh (Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus headstock (2014-08-16 06.06.49 by Martin Hesketh)), Prinz78390 (Dean V 30th anniversary – head)